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In this entertaining podcast, Sean Pillot de Chenecey interviews the author and highly sought-after keynote speaker Pete Cohen.

In the interview, Pete  – who is a specialist on human behaviour and personal performance – describes his expert viewpoints on issues including resilience, leadership and the unlocking of individual potential.

Connect with Speakers Associates

Episode #102

Unlocking individual potential

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (00:09): Hi, this is Sean Pillot de Chenecey, the author of The Post-Truth Business and Influencers and Revolutionaries. I’m here on a beautiful autumn morning in London at the Mayfair Hotel, doing a podcast on behalf of Speakers Associates, the global speaker bureau representing a select group of the world’s finest thinkers, and thought leaders. Founded in 1999, Speakers Associates operate out of nine offices across seven countries covering the UK, Europe and the Middle East. And I’m delighted to be here with Pete Cohen, who I have to say is one of the most energetic people, as well as a incredibly sharp thinker that I’ve ever met. So, Pete, good morning.

Pete Cohen (00:49): Yes. Good morning to you. It’s a real delight to be here to be able to have this opportunity to talk to also talking to another speaker, but I am most definitely energetic. I was born six weeks premature. My mom tells me I was in a hurry to come out and I’ve kind of been in a hurry ever since. So having energy is definitely something I have an abundance of.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (01:13): And sort of this morning I was looking again at your website and it must, can I say again, it is one of the most incredibly energy-filled websites.

Pete Cohen (01:21): Well, we were talking about that just before we started to record, because that was for a speaking engagement in Slovakia. And it was about four or 500 people and I came on from the back and the audience just there was nothing there for the audience. There were just in terms of there was no energy in the room. So I thought, hang on, I’m gonna have to do this again. So I said, right guys, listen, let’s create some energy in the room. I want everyone to imagine that we’re all American and we’re all extremely hyper positive. And they all actually really went for it and they all jumped up and were going, woo, woo, woo. And I was just wondering why can’t we be more like that ourselves? I think most of us are pretty, uncomfortable with the idea of being super positive.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (02:07): Yeah.

Pete Cohen (02:07): Yeah.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (02:08): And do you think it that’s a sort a national thing? I mean, certainly personally I tend to associate that sort of.

Pete Cohen (02:13): Yeah.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (02:14): Super power type thing with, you know, with Americans.

Pete Cohen (02:16): Yes.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (02:16): And not the British, is that true?

Pete Cohen (02:19): Or I think, the whole motivation movement, the whole positive psychology originated really in the fifties in America. But if you trace it back, you know, go back thousands of years around the whole concept about optimism that came from the Romans and the Greeks and philosophy. And I’ve always been interested because I am a speaker, but my background I’m a coach. That’s what I specialize in. And I’m a coach who studied psychology. So I’ve always been fascinated by performance. What makes people effective from world and Olympic champions who have worked with many to high flying business executives, to everyday people. What does it take for someone to perform at their best? What does it actually take for someone, to feel good about themselves and unfortunately, or fortunately, however, you choose to look at it, different cultures around the world, different people have different ways of thinking, different ways of moving through the world.

Pete Cohen (03:12): And if we were gonna make generalizations about the British, you’d say, yeah, we tend to be quite reserved. We tend to be sorry all the time. You know, I could jump up in the air and go, Hey, come on, everyone. Let’s go for it. And as a generalization, maybe a group of English, people will cross their legs and go no. I’m gonna stay exactly where I am. I think they need a bit more coercing and that approach, that kind of woo woo motivation approach. Doesn’t always work with a, you know, you have to adapt to the audience that, you’re presenting to. So, and then if you get everyone fired up and motivated, it’s like, well, so what, and that’s the challenge, isn’t it? I suppose, as a speaker, if you are known as a motivational speaker, you can get people super excited, but how long does that last? And I’m not interested in that personally. I’m interested in people legacy from having the opportunity to speak to people. So they’re not just inspired for a few moments, but they take something away that then goes and makes a difference to their life, to the company’s life. So, yeah.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (04:13): I noticed that one of the points that you talk about on the site is that in fact, that exact issue about impact, and obviously you are a very high impact person with a very sort of high impact personality. But you mentioned the point about, okay, after the impact, how does this actually sit with the audience and the delegates and what happens next? And do they, frankly, with most speeches, probably from, you know, it in most conferences. We’ve all been too around the world. A lot of speakers, I think it’s true to say what they’ve said may well not be remembered once people leave the hall. So I know you see, it’s really important to you that the legacy issue is there.

Pete Cohen (04:53): Yeah. Otherwise it just becomes, I mean, if that’s what a company wants, then you know, you, I can deliver something like that. But I’m seeing now more and more organizations around the world that are starting to look at their people in a different way. And what I love to do is, I mean, I had a coach myself for 16 years and he taught me so much. I traveled around the world with him. I learned, so much from him. And he said to me, once he said, when do people really change? And I gave him some answer based on the psychology training that I had. And he just kind of looked at me and laughed. He said, people don’t change then, people change when their perspective changes. When they go through an experience through having gone through that experience, they then look at life differently.

Pete Cohen (05:33): And most of us have had experiences like that. And most cases it’s trauma. It’s something horrible that’s happened that we then look back and think we have a different appreciation for life. So what I love to do is to give people a different perspective of something. So an organization would want me to come and speak and my questions will always be okay, well, what’s the point of this event? What is it you want to get out of it? And then with me speaking, what is it you want them to know? And what is it you want them to feel? And what is it you want them to do after I’ve spoken. And I listen very intently to try and find out what they’re looking for. And then it’s, it’s great to take a message and enhance the message to give the audience a different way of looking at it.

Pete Cohen (06:17): So they go, I’ve never thought of it like that because we people don’t like to be told, especially in organizations. And you know, I know you’ve got kids. If you, I know your kids are like 15 and 17, right? You just said before, even at that age, if you tell them to go and tidy their room, very unlikely, they’ll go, Hey, what a brilliant idea. I’ll go and do it. You know, no, the resistance is there. And the resistance is there within people, within organizations and what we’re seeing more and more collectively around the world is people want a few things and it’s not necessarily more money. They want autonomy. They want to feel that they are a part of something and they want to get better at things mastery. And they want a, they want a purpose. There needs to be some sort of purpose to what they’re doing.

Pete Cohen (07:01): And that is challenging in a world. That’s very automated where people are working in front of computers, a lot of the time, but organizations that are looking into the development of their people, they’re the ones that are getting the ultimate brand loyalty. This is one of the things I learned from one of the people I interviewed for a book that I recently wrote. He’s the MD of Caffe Nero, Glyn House. And we were talking about the ultimate brand loyalty, when he was working at Saintbury’s, it was, they started to think, well, how do we get people to want to come and work for us? An organization should really be looking at how do we create loyalty from our people? So our people want to work for us. They wake up every day going. I can’t wait to go to work. And there are some very innovative companies now that are doing this. LinkedIn, a company that are doing some amazing work where people feel that they are the company, cuz let’s face it.

Pete Cohen (07:54): We work harder than ever, even though we’re talking about going down to a four day week, the fact is if you still go down to a four day week, people are still gonna be working when they’re not being paid, you know, in the morning before afterwards. And if we can create that culture where people are their work, cause they enjoy their work because they’re developing and they, then we we’re just gonna get more out of people. So I’m fascinated. And as you probably can tell, I could talk about this until the cows come home.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (08:23): Yeah. It’s a fascinating subject. And I think one of the things that certainly I find very interesting then, I know you talk about this is the future of work. And one of the things that I think, you know, one of the, sort of the big trend areas in the future of work that it’s that’s reported on a lot are things like, the multi-age workforce, you know, people staying in work for longer. And so even like the actual age group in the workforce, in the workspace being more spread than ever before. So I just wondered that issue of, and obviously diversity is an incredibly important issue now. So when you’re talking to audiences and this issue about, about motivating them, does it change across,

Pete Cohen (09:03): It’s such a, it’s such a end

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (09:05): Diverse backgrounds and cultures?

Pete Cohen (09:08): It’s such a good question. When again, when you look at what people want, right, they want to be a part of something. And I just wanna take a slight aside, cuz again, I know that we spoke before about, you know, you were in the army and when you find people who are in the forces, they learn to get on with each other because they have to, even if you don’t like someone, is that well, what’s that gotta do with anything. If there’s a mission to be done, let’s do it. So there’s this incredibly high degree of honesty and integrity and we have a mission and we must do the mission no matter what, a lot of people who leave the forces when they go into, into the real world really struggle because they meet people who often say, let’s do this. And then people don’t say what they’re going to do.

Pete Cohen (09:52): And that creates almost turmoil inside someone who’s been in the forces. It’s like we have to do what we say. We’re going to do. Organizations can create that culture. But the way to create that culture is to have a compelling vision of what we’re actually doing. This is beyond a mission statement beyond strategy where people start to see something in the future. So they’re being defined by a vision of something that is in front of them, that they’re excited to go and create and where you create that culture doesn’t matter where any, anywhere in the world, you see a side of people who go above and beyond, because if you don’t create that, what tends to happen is people go back to default. People go back to what’s known as discretionary effort where they will only do so much enough that no one would really actually point to see that someone isn’t doing enough. It doesn’t take much to create that environment where people are interested in the people that work for them and want those people to progress and want those people to develop. And it’s great where you find organizations like that because everything else is just it’s falling on its feet. You know, industries are falling apart because we’re not really investing in our people in the way that we need to because most organizations, even today, even though we use a lot of technology, people are still the most valuable commodity within organizations.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (11:18): Can I ask at that point you made about purpose because back in sort of Adland and I spent many years advertising, you know, the purpose word is just used endlessly and has been used endlessly for so long. Now, in many cases it’s become almost meaningless, almost in almost invisible. And one of the points I think that tends to be spoken about, in terms of the more interesting thought leaders like yourselves, is this issue of, the purpose just can’t be an advertising message, basically. We’re the nice people. It has to be something around the genuine impact that the organization has in the world.

Pete Cohen (11:54): Yeah. So it’s just massively powerful again, isn’t it just around how more and more people want to do work with companies that have, they want to impact the world in a positive way. And when we start to look at what makes people tick, especially around that purpose question, it’s one of the biggest questions you’re gonna ask someone is what’s the meaning of life? Well, personally I think the meaning of life is the meaning that you give it and you can give it whatever meaning you want. And often if you give it a different meaning, you get a different response. What’s the purpose of your life? Or again, that’s up to individuals, but what’s the purpose of an organization. If the purpose of an organization is just about maximizing shareholder value, which some companies will still say today.

Pete Cohen (12:43): Well, a lot of shareholders are now looking at companies and realizing why aren’t people more engaged. Because if you look at the statistics with organizations, you see that a lot of people are just genuinely not engaged. So how do we create more engagement? Make what people do more purposeful, give help to develop people. I was reading something about the HR director for Siemens, talking about organizations like Siemens, realize we need to invest into developing our people, not just professionally, but also personally, so people can grow and evolve. So you think about what’s the purpose of our life. The purpose really is to experience, to grow, evolve and to move forwards. We are what the Greeks called teleological. We are goal orient orientated, and there is a gap between where people are and where they want to be. There is a gap between where businesses are and where businesses wanna be.

Pete Cohen (13:43): If we can look at ways to fulfill the gap where people feel that there’s something that they’re doing, that means something, it makes a difference. We just see a different level, of engagement. And I’m one of these crazy people who gets up at ridiculous hours of the day and starts learning. I love learning and finding out what works. And I came across something really quite randomly. That’s impacted my life massively. And it was the guy who won the Nobel prize in 1937, a Hungarian man, please don’t ask me to pronounce his name. He won the Nobel prize for his theory. And the theory is called Syntrophy. And what it means is that every living cell lives, for one reason, one reason only it lives to express itself. If it might not the acorn that falls from the tree, it might not land and go in the ground, but it wants to has the capacity to, we’re the same human beings are their best, where they’re just growing and evolving.

Pete Cohen (14:40): And what we seem to see happen in society is a whole load of people that are just very comfortable and they’re scared to move forwards. They’re scared to grow. And companies are often scared to really look at how can we help our people evolve? How can we help our people feel that the business is theirs? I mean, these are big topics and big questions, but when you can help people look at things differently and give people a different way of looking at things we tend to see a different side of human beings.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (15:10): Okay. That’s fascinating. And can ask what about, and another one of your key topics that you talk a lot about in real depth is resilience. And so perhaps tell me about that. So, what are your big thinking around?

Pete Cohen (15:25): Well, again, it’s one of these words. Isn’t, it’s like a buzz word. What does it actually mean? Well, the word resilience actually means to recoil cuz you can’t bounce back. You can’t go back. You can only move forwards. And you know, the question I would love everyone listening to this is to take a moment and think about when do we really see the best of human beings? The floods at the moment they’re happening in Doncaster, there are people doing things that they would not normally do. Giving everything they have buying things for people who don’t have, because this disaster, I used to live down the road from here. I had a houseboat Love of Growth. And with the Greenville towers, when that happened, you could literally, you could smell it. That’s what woke me up was the smell and then coming out and seeing it.

Pete Cohen (16:14): And I knew people that lived there who didn’t talk to each other just didn’t people did not talk, but you know what happened after that? I mean, communities really formed out of desperation. And unfortunately that’s when we seem to see the best in people when bad things happen. And I don’t, I think that’s okay. But again, just coming back to, if you can get people engaged about something that’s in front of them, which is another energy that is much more than being motivated. That’s about being inspired. Inspiration means your breathing life into something that’s in front of you. And you know, if you think about your children or when you were a child and you were waiting, because it was your birthday or it was Christmas and you knew you were gonna get something and you could see it and you, you couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Pete Cohen (17:01): You were excited, excitement, enthusiasm, passion. They are emotions that are evolved by something that is in front of us. And if we don’t look forwards in a positive way, we are doomed, it’s what’s called hope and the science of hope, which actually means that you believe your future is better than where you are. And you and I now could talk for hours about how doomed everything is. If we wanted to have that perspective, have that conversation based on the fact that just around the corner, there’s a couple of people. Well, there’s quite a few people actually arguing about this country and what’s gonna happen. What’s a joke. I’m sorry. I think it’s a bit of a joke, right? That, you know, my goal is to get people to be inspired, to inspire others, to go and make a difference. You know, like I say, I could talk about this stuff, or I just believe in people.

Pete Cohen (17:53): And I know that within every human being, but yet to be maybe proved wrong, there is greatness. There is something that need, but it needs help. People often won’t bring that out themselves unless a disaster comes, organizations need to be able to, how do we tap into the greatness that exists within our people? It’s not complicated. Treat people with respect, listen to people, value them, give them the opportunity to grow and get better. That day have gone. The have gone, if you want to build a successful company where you are just really lucky, cuz you’ve got a job and that’s what we pay you for.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (18:31): Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And then what about leadership, which I know is mean turn into a lot of what you’ve been saying, but I’m interested in your thinking in terms of, has the conversation around leadership changed over the last decade or so that you’ve been doing this, you know, so in terms of, you know, the classic leader, inverted commerce in a nineties organization compared to a leader today, how are those two individuals or teams different?

Pete Cohen (19:01): It’s such a great question. And I went on an epic journey, which started three years ago where I decided to write a book about leadership. And what I did is I spent a lot of time interviewing many of the leaders. Some of them who I’ve mentored and coached to try to understand a little bit about what’s their style, cuz I don’t think there is, there’s only one style of leadership, right? Which is the style that you choose to adopt. And ultimately, what is it that a leader should be looking to do? I think a leader should be encouraging people to become leaders in their own right or to become good followers. But then if you’re becoming a good follower, I still think you’re a leader. You’re and I think it’s the most valuable commodity in the world, right? It’s not gold. It’s not silver.

Pete Cohen (19:48): It’s not diamonds, it’s leaders. So every day you and I, when we wake up and everybody else, we make decisions in where we’re taking the direction of our life. So organizations now, what I see is they looking at their people with a different, a different way rather than leading people, this managing way managing is when you’re telling someone basically what to do and then managing them doing it. A leader is I think, inspiring someone to do something for themselves and to take ownership of it. And what was fascinating from the people who are a part of the book that I wrote from Glyn House to Alistair McAuley, who’s the MD of Akzo Nobel to Delphine Rivera, who’s the MD of Accenture. So many of these people, it was really interesting just talking to them. And there was this kind of another guy from Willmott, Neil Stevens from Willmont Dixon, one of the managing directors there, they all said the same thing. And Alistair McAuley said he doesn’t even like the word leaders leadership, cuz it makes him sound as if he’s special. He wants to be a facilitator of bringing other people through. So I think that there is a massive change in the garden. If you ask companies what they want, most companies would say, we want people to take the lead. We want people to take responsibility for what they’re doing, but that’s a cultural shift and it can be created, but it definitely starts at the top.

Pete Cohen (21:10): And it means letting go. And it means I’m not being so controlled about your company. It’s more about, and that’s when we, when do we see the best in people is when people feel that like they’re a part of something which is bigger than themselves.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (21:24): You mentioned your book by the way. And so you have your,

Pete Cohen (21:27): I have it here,

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (21:28): the latest with you. So, tell me about then in terms of, so who’s it published by and where can we, where can listeners buy it?

Pete Cohen (21:36): So the best way to get this book is actually just go to, because they can get the book as long as people take care of the postage and packaging, we’ll just give them a copy of the book I’ve written. It’s the 19th book I’ve written.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (21:50): 19th.

Pete Cohen (21:50): I’ve had 19th, I’ve had books published by the biggest publishers in the world, but I just figured, you know what? I wanted to have more discretion over what I could say and what I couldn’t say. So I worked with a partnership publishing house called Fillman, but this was, you know, I’m sure I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, right? And no one is everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t think everyone, you know, when they choose to work with people, you should always look to work with someone who you resonate with or someone who maybe is gonna go above and beyond the call of duty.

Pete Cohen (22:18): And I’ve always gone above and beyond the call of duty. I’m a solutions person. You know, those people that know me, I find solutions. If I can’t find a solution, I’ll go and find someone who can, my wife was given 18 months to live eight years ago. And my dad bought me up to believe son, it’s not what you know, it’s who, you know, so it’s always finding things, finding solutions. And my mum was always said, there’s an answer to everything. And this is something that when I decided to go on this journey, in fact, it was Cosimo Turroturro, who runs a Speaker Associates. He gave me the idea of doing this book. We had a conversation about it. I won’t go on about it for too long, but it’s just a really important thing for everyone to take a moment and think about what I’m just about to say.

Pete Cohen (23:03): So if I said, Sean, what do we all have in common? We have a few things, right? We breathe the same air, lots of things we have in common. We’re both men. But the other thing you and I have in common is we love stories. So when we get together, we, before you told me the story of Lou Ferrigno, I’m never gonna forget that job. If the Manny was the incredible Hulk, asking you to go to his bedroom, to turn on his television and his remote control was in the middle of the bed, now I pictured that story and I wasn’t even there. And I’ve met Lou Ferrigno. He’s a big guy. And I would’ve been thinking similar things to you. We love stories, stories capture the hearts and minds of people. So whether it’s Lord of the Rings, whether it’s Harry Potter, whether it’s the Wizard of Oz, whether it’s the Bible, we love stories.

Pete Cohen (23:45): And within every story, there is the same thing which happens. And, there was a guy called Joseph Campbell who was mentored George Lucas. George Lucas was the creator of Star Wars. The new Star Wars film comes out 40 years after the first one in 1977, I will go and watch it. I will watch every Rocky film cuz I’ve bought into what’s called the heroes journey. The hero’s journey, this is what Joseph Campbell wrote about. Whether it’s the Wizard of Oz, Harry, any of these films, someone is called to an adventure. They don’t want to go. They get a mentor or coach, the mentor encourages them to go over the line, which they hadn’t gone before. They face something. Almost kills them, blah, blah, blah. They come back. They conquer, they win. It’s called the hero’s journey. We identify with those films because we identify with the characters, not with all the films, but most of us do.

Pete Cohen (24:35): This sounds like a cliche, but we are the writers and the directors and the actors of our own life. The book, our Inspirators maps that the hero’s journey to the leader’s journey. If you want to be a leader in your life, don’t expect it to be easy. It’s gonna be leading forwards. You are going to face obstacles. The obstacles are the way. That’s what I love to say to people. It’s not in the way the obstacle is the way you’re not gonna get anywhere without going through this obstacle and growing and getting stronger. So in the book from the people that I interviewed and worked with, it was giving people a frame of reference of you want to take the lead in your life. You want to be inspired. You need a framework, you need a system that you can see that you’re on this quest. And it’s isn’t necessarily gonna be easy, but what could you learn from other people that have followed? And I think the last thing I’ll say about this is I’m about to give a talk next week at the British Association of Architects. There’s a building in Portland place.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (25:35): Oh yeah, sure.

Pete Cohen (25:36): And I don’t know anything about architects really, but I thought I’d better start looking cause they want me to talk about architecturing yourself. And when you look at all the great architects, so many of them were inspired by other architects who had done something before that they saw, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We just need to look at what works and maybe look to make it better. So I know that was a long answer to your question, but with the book, there’s all the interviews I did with all of those managing directors, they’re all available online. People can go and watch them and look at other leaders and be curious about their style and what could you learn from them. So yes.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (26:15): Absolutely superb. And you mentioned so 19 books, which is a, an extraordinary thing so going back to the beginning of those, I mean the first one or the first couple, I mean, what were they about and how did you start actually?

Pete Cohen (26:27): Well, it’s quite strange cuz I severely dyslexic. In fact, I was just spoke at the Made it Dyslexia. I was at the Made it Dyslexia Conference where Richard Branson was speaking was absolutely fascinating, but I’m I can speak. I’m not a great writer. So I have all the books I’ve done with other people. But the first book I wrote was actually called Slimming with Pete. Some people thought it was called Swimming with Pete, but it was my, I grew up watching my mom trying to lose weight. And I just saw her go out diet after diet, after diet, after diet and never getting the result and hoarding all of this diet information. So I just was always looking at what’s the solution to that. The solution really is not the approach that most people take. Sometimes we’ve gotta look outside the box and this is where Simon Sinek’s work, his new book, which has just come out about the Finite Game.

Pete Cohen (27:15): Weight loss, if you wanna lose weight, it’s it can’t be a finite because if it is you you’ll lose the weight and you put it back on again. And that’s how a lot of people are doing business. We wanna be number one. Well, you know, why did England lose to South Africa in the semi-final? Well, two years ago they knew they were gonna have to play chances are New Zealand. And that was their game to win that game. And life is not finite, you know, it’s infinite, it carries on. So I’ve, through the books I’ve written, it’s just about finding solutions. So I wrote a book called habit busting that was published in, I think 12 languages, fear busting, life DIY, you had to DIY yourself so, you know, it’s just about solutions. I think a lot of people maybe don’t want to change, but the people that do it’s like, look, come and talk to me cuz I’ll I can show you how, you know,

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (28:12): Absolutely superb, but I just, in the last few minutes we have, and it’s been absolutely.

Pete Cohen (28:18): Yeah.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (28:18): Fascinating. Listening to you. So we would talk for hours about this. So looking ahead, so to 2020, are there any sort of, plans you’ve got any other, yet more books that you’ll be coming out with or projects you’ve got coming up or events on the horizon that you’d like to talk about?

Pete Cohen (28:39): I think it’s a good, really good question for me next year is all about having 2020 on your 2020. And I know that sounds again like a cliche, but I always look and think, how could we use the, how could I use the year 2020 to have an incredible year and help others? I want to help more people have a focus of where they’re going to have 20 20 vision. Even if you don’t have 20 20 vision, but 20 20 vision on something that is in front of you, something you want achieve, whether it be with your business, your work, your family, your health, and help more and more, more people navigate to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. Cuz that’s when human beings seem to be at their best when they’re growing, when they’re contributing, when they’re learning.

Pete Cohen (29:28): But sometimes people just need help in moving into that space where they are evolving. And I want to help more organizations create that culture because, there’s nothing better than going into a place where people wanna work and they’re excited to be at work and yeah, and just traveling more and inspiring more people. I want to inspire as many people as I can while I’m, while I’ve, while I’m 50 next year as well. So, I want to help more people remove the obstacles that are in their way and install the habits that create success. You know, again sounds like a cliche, but a great life doesn’t happen by chance. You know, it’s gotta be designed, you know, and often for something to be designed, your probably chances are you might need some help. So I want more men. There’s also to put other hand up and say, you know what, I need help here. And I am seeing that cuz that’s a weakness of men. I think. I dunno what you think about that. A lot of men don’t like to put their hand up and say, you know, why do you need some help here? Can you, what do you think about this?

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (30:26): On that point, I think it’s really fascinating. Again, one of the great sort of social issues we’ve seen in the last few years is the issue of mental health.

Pete Cohen (30:35): Yeah.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (30:35): Becoming particularly again, as you mentioned for men becoming ever more, overt, you know, spoken about, certainly in the workplace in a business context, more than ever. I think again, going back to, we spoke about leadership in the nineties versus leadership now changing massively, certainly I think mental health, it didn’t exist officially. In the nineties. It all invented sort of a couple of years ago. I think it’s fascinating. The amount of people like yourself now that are really highlighting that area and what one can do about it and the what

Pete Cohen (31:11): We’re seeing more and more people starting to talk about this stuff. The statistics don’t lie 800,000 people take their life every year and around 80% of those are men. So there’s got to be something around people, not vocalizing what they think and feel. Women as a generalization, tend to make sense of the world by talking about what they see here and feel. Men again, as a generalization, we don’t tend to do that. We tend to internalize. And if you internalize everything that you think and you don’t vocalize it, you’re probably gonna struggle cuz the world is a bit crazy, especially the way that we are living our life, our relationship to technology, most of us don’t ever switch off, but it doesn’t take much to again, create cultures where people can express themselves openly and honestly, without the fear of being, vindicated, not vindicated, but just being made fun of which again is something which men tend to do a lot of it’s they call it what’s that word when men make fun of each other. What’s that word? Banter. That’s the word. You know, it’s just breaking down those, those barriers and let people evolve and grow and you know, cuz that’s when, like I’ve said that’s when we see the best in human, in humankind when we are making something better than what it is right now and that’s what companies should be doing.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (32:29): Okay. Absolutely fantastic. Will it, Pete,

Pete Cohen (32:31): thank you.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (32:31): so interesting. Thank you for talking me.

Pete Cohen (32:34): It’s my pleasure.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (32:34): So as a final word, any other final points you’d like to make to the listeners, the Speakers Associates audience?

Pete Cohen (32:40): Well just, if you want to talk to me, you know, feel free to talk to me, whether you decide to work with me or not, I’m more than happy to always have a conversation, you know, because we just need help. And I’d love to share my experience with people that are putting on events, you know, so that, we can put on a great event.

Sean Pillot de Chenecey (32:59): Pete, on that note. Thank you.

Pete Cohen (33:01): Thank you.

Podcast host

Sean Pillot de Chenecey speaker

Sean Pillot de Chenecey

Foresight strategist, author and podcast host Sean Pillot de Chenecey is an inspirational speaker, who’s also consulted for some of the world’s biggest brands.

Sean has a very deep level of knowledge regarding the genuine issues impacting brands from a cultural, social and business perspective.

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