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Paolo Gallo, The Speaker Show

In this episode of #TheSpeakerShow, Sean Pillot de Chenecey interviews Paolo Gallo, a futurist and global expert in human capital, the future of work and dynamic leadership.

He’s also the award-winning author of the international best-seller ‘The Compass & The Radar’, and a renowned public speaker who has delivered over 100 keynotes in more than 40 countries at locations including 10 Downing Street, World Economic Forum, Ferrari, LVMH, Manpower,  United Nations, UBS, Picted, WHO, World Bank and many more.

Connect with Speakers Associates

Episode #129

"‘Hitting Pause… and The Great Reset'"

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:00:08): Hello this podcast is care of Speakers Associates, the global speaker bureau representing a select group of the business world’s finest thinkers and thought leaders founded in 1999. Today Speakers Associates operate out of nine offices across seven countries covering the UK, Europe and Middle East. I’m Sean Pillot de Chenecey author of The Post-Truth Business and Influencers & Revolutionaries, which are being followed by The New Abnormal. In this series, I interview a range of fascinating individuals, proudly represented by the bureau. These change agents and industry experts give an update on their specialist areas of knowledge, and also on their motivations and viewpoints regarding the future of business.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:01:00): So today I’m really pleased to be joined by Paolo Gallo. He’s an author executive coach, adjunct professor, and a renowned international speaker over the last 30 years, Paolo who’s been the chief human resources officer at the world, economic forum in Geneva, the chief learning officer at the world bank in Washington, DC and director of human resources at the European bank for reconstruction and development in London. He has written a fantastic book which I’ve enjoyed reading several times “The Compass & The Radar” in that he offers a unique pathway towards identifying the right career, finding the ideal job and developing a moral compass. The solid value system that’ll then anchor the reader in their professional lives. From the perspective of his speaking engagements, he’s given a hundred plus keynote speeches and elected in 40 different countries in front of thousands of people to organizations, including 10 Downing Street, The World Bank, City Group, PWC, the United Nations, WTO, Global Forum action learning, the World Economic Forum in the USA, the World Economic Forum in Asia and the Bank of Shanghai, the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC, the African Development Bank, et cetera. And in addition to these has been a panelist at several annual meetings for the World Economic Forum in Davos, and is given to TedX talks. Finally, he’s known for his passionate storytelling, his insightful questions, creativity and talks. Paolo’s audiences always gain a new perspectives and leave the speech engaged, galvanized, and motivated feeding, empowered to take action and make an impact with integrity driven by sound, moral compasses. So Paolo, how are you?

Paolo Gallo (00:02:57): Well, first of all, thanks so much, Sean, for, for this conversation. I’m absolutely fine. It’s been as my daughter said recently that in the last three months, it’s been a strange 30 years and we had an amazing intense spirit of time. All of us.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:03:14): Yeah, absolutely. I mean, bizarre. I know people have been saying the, the greatest psychological experiment in history, which is fundamentally altered so much while leaving some other things, perhaps the same, which, which no doubt we’ll talk about. But just so we can really get into this Paolo, I think it’d be really useful for the listeners. Many, many of whom naturally will be entirely familiar with you, but some who bizarrely may not. So let’s just start if you like at the beginning and just please just take us through your background in terms of you know, how you actually got to where you are now.

Paolo Gallo (00:03:50): My first of all, thank you mean very briefly. I started with, with an insight I got when I was 14, because I remember I got in tennis called is is the end of the year results in which I end up having five subjects in which I was the best in the classroom and four subjects in which I was the worst. So I end up being promoted with average you know, kind of C plus, but in reality had some F and some a and, and, and my insight was actually that I wasn’t an from nine to 10, I wasn’t a genius from 10 to 11 the morning, I just was doing very well things that I loved and not doing well at all, things that I didn’t like . So so I, I, I felt in life I just needed to find out what I really wanted to do, and I would be fine and therefore not get engaged with the subject topics of people that didn’t particularly like. So I was quite lucky joking beside to, to, to have that if I would’ve done something that I loved, I, would’ve probably been kind of good enough. But if I would’ve chosen the wrong tracker, I would’ve been bored and therefore probably just vegetating on the medio side. So I, I decided that rather than vegetating on the mediocrity, I wanted to Excel things that I loved. So I, now that’s pretty much what I decided to do.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:05:17): Excellent.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:05:19): Okay. Then, so moving sort of swiftly forward in terms of, I mean, just the extraordinary interesting career that you’ve had. And we’ll talk again in no doubt in deal in detail about that later on, and we’ll look at some of the sort of anecdotes and the, and the, and the sort of issues that have happened to you, I mean, in terms of coming right up to date so here we are now summer 2020, and recently there was The Recovery Summit, which was run by Speakers Associates, which I think has been the biggest sort of, you know, online summit this year 65 speakers, you know, had what I eight and a half thousand delegates around the world listening in. And the number one talk as voted for by all those people obviously was given by yourself. So Paolo obviously it really, really struck a chord in terms of being so popular. So perhaps just, you know, take us through, you know, what were you talking about at that event and why do you think what you were talking about hit such a chord with the, with, with the with the delegates?

Paolo Gallo (00:06:20): First of all, I, I have to, to say I was surprised to, to be, you know, voted by so many people, but to me it wasn’t about the quality of the speech that perhaps was good enough, but was about the relevance of the topic, the start in, in people’s mind know. And so I, I titled pose reset restart and learn know let’s start with the pose side. Pose is fundamentally, we’ve been going through an amazing, intense period of our life as a citizen, as a professional, as human beings, you know, and we need to pose for two reason, first of all, to reflect about what we’ve learned and the second to recharge our energy, because we have several source of energy, the mental, the physical, the emotional, the spiritual, and we cannot just pretend that we can restart with energy if we have not revealed our own sources of energy.

Paolo Gallo (00:07:24): So I think this is something that is relevant for pretty much everybody on the planet, because we’ve been emotionally drained and physically drained for, for, for what has happened the last few months. And then of course the following steps also to me, there is a processor goes with with reset and reset is fundamentally the capacity to reevaluate what matters in your life. what your priorities, what are the things that probably got you upset that is not worth even considering what are the, the, the thing that really matters and what is the legacy you want to live behind? And I’m talking as an individual, but to me the same applies also to, to organizations. No cause if you think about the crisis doesn’t build people, character, but reveal people and organization character.

Paolo Gallo (00:08:18): No and you have a, you know, amazing stories up there. And then the third part of course, is restart and restart is based on the priority. You set up on the, on the following on the former phase. And the last is about learn which is fundamentally reflecting with D and judgment and analytical skills and intellectual honesty about what you’ve learned and what you can do better in your, in your life. So, to me there is a process in in in, in this difficult moment because otherwise we just subject to what’s happening outside of us. And we are subject to, you know, somebody else will, or, or we feel like flags in the, in the wind. I believe we, we, we can actually follow our own path of discovery of professional development and human announcement in terms of announcement of our skills and our judgment and our vision. And I think it’s a meaningful journey for, of us.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:09:18): I mean, I thought the, the speech was absolutely, or presentation was absolutely fascinating. And including your, the epic start when you quoted the older Mike Tyson sort of quote about everyone has a strategy till it gets punched in the face. What about the point? One of the points I thought was, was fascinating that you made was when you were talking about the even like one of the key terms of the moment. So, you know, everyone is coming up with their version of the new normal or normality or where things are going. And, and I thought it was very, very interesting, your, the specific point you were making about your problem with the, the usage of that word normal. So perhaps just again, sort take us through that.

Paolo Gallo (00:10:06): Absolutely. Cause what is interesting is everybody’s now let’s say gravitating on the same question, which is what next, and I think what next is a very reasonable, plausible, and and understandable question. Okay. And and then you have different school of thoughts on on what next. So for example some of, some of the, some of the countries, some of the people said, oh, and my own language means everything will be fine. Which to me is not, is not a plan. It’s just a self encouragement. Then there are on the other side, the pessimistic the, the, the dystopian view in which you have people organization say is gonna be apocalypse. Now, for example, there was a message from, from, from the called apocalypse. Now also time said, oh, it’s gonna be the perfect storm. And, and by, by framing it that way you increase people, anxiety, but you don’t help them to solve the solution to, to solve the, the, the situation.

Paolo Gallo (00:11:11): Then you have a what appeared to be the common theme including university or Harvard university, cetera. They said, oh, it’s gonna be the new normal and new normal. And and they do normal. It kind of implies yeah, it’s gonna be a bit of a mess, but eventually we’re gonna be in a situation that is new, but it’s gonna be normal. Yeah. Is I, I personally have a big problem with, with this definition because normality means predictability, consistency, normal, and what people expect. And assuming thinking that you’re gonna find a new normal going forward is frankly delusional. So to to reframe the future in a different way, not because we know what we future all, but because by framing it differently, we, we know how to do it. So and then I, I wrote some article and it’s gonna be also, it’s been already published in a couple of languages and part of the, the work that I will be doing, I say, actually, it’s not gonna be a new norm.

Paolo Gallo (00:12:14): It’s gonna be a new context. And context is a neutral terms that, that we have to fill with substance. And the new context is defined not by normality or predictability or norms, but by cows confusion, crisis complexity and change. So I got five CS because if you understand this five CS, the sum of this five CS implies a transformation and a transformation is, is different than change, cause change the situation change, but we don’t, we are the one that we’re changing and and we can do this only if we learn. So to me it’s not a semantic exercise to call it one way or the other is a framework that helps people to, to, to be let say, responsible, responsive, and active in feeling this void with meaning rather than relaxing, because everything would be fine or just panicking because everything would be a disaster or on your, on your pandemic or whatever. It’s

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:13:18): And then also as part of that talk, you were talking some of the points you made were, were related to this sort of, you know, old skills and new skills. And again, I think it’s very interesting just saying that a lot of the talk at the moment actually is, is increasing anxiety as opposed to framing where we are now, in a way that’s actually gonna be helpful to people. So it’s very interesting. You’re talking about, you’ve like, you know, a couple of the old skills were all about tech expertise, where now you were talking, it’s all about learning and adaptability C, that that was really insightful,

Paolo Gallo (00:13:59): Also important to reflect on the kind of problems that we are dealing with as human beings now, regardless of the sector, the country, or the material, the profession that we’re doing. Okay. Now up until now most of the problems were solvable from the technical standpoint. So there were complex problems. Okay. It’s a complicated problem. Complicated problem means complicated problem implies the need to have technic expertise to solve it. So if you, if you go to the dentist, you expect a qualified dentist is able to, to solve that problem. OK. but think about the problems that society is dealing with right now, we have coronavirus, we have climate change with high unemployment. So this problem cannot be solved from one discipline. On one perspective only you need to bring people an organization around the table in order to solve it.

Paolo Gallo (00:15:04): So what does it mean? The problem are still remain technically difficult to solve it, but they’re not only complicated, also complex and complexity implies the capacity to coordinate and collaborate with others. Okay. So when you, when you understand this, you still have the need to have technical expertise around the table, but you, most importantly, you have even a more important need to cooperate with organization and people, you know, in society in order to solve that problem, when this happens then solution occurs. And the problem is solved. Think about the, the, the way the pandemic has been dealt, for example, in South Korea or New Zealand, when this doesn’t happen, because there is no collaboration, cause trust is missing. You end up with a freaking mess, which is what we’ve seen in in some countries starting from United States. So from the, from the leadership standpoint shift stand point, developing corporation and trust is a key element. And this is how saying something is fashionable is cute, or it’s nice to talk about trust. You got to do it, but you earn trust day by day. And if you don’t, you end up in a disaster situation and I’m a, I’m flabbergasted to see what’s happening right now, United States, a country that deeply love. I I’ve been there for 11 years. I, I, I love United States. I understand to see how bad leadership has influenced so badly that beautiful country.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:16:39): Well, I think on that exact point, I think early yesterday in the things either in the Washington post or the New York times, they’re talking about the way that president Trump appears to have just effectively thrown his hands up and walked away from the, from the issue when it comes to the, the pandemic. And obviously at the moment, tragically that the numbers are getting worse and worse and worse over there. So I mean just absolutely appalling. What about just going back to the specifics of your talk and again, actually this links into something else that was happening you know, specifically in the us, in terms of, of an incident, but also has naturally has been reflected around the world tragically. And that is the issue with regards to social division from the perspective of the recent activities around the black lives matter movement.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:17:30): And I thought it was really interesting in one of the articles you, you wrote recently, you were talking about with regards to your new context concept the issue about you know, the reset after the pause and within a lot of people actually saying a who as, as you said, and I’m reading your article, it’s in front of me now, you know, who is gonna push the reset button and it can’t be the very same people who set up the current system to their political and, and economic advantage. So perhaps just talk a bit about that, how you see this whole issue of, I know it’s an enormous issue of social division. How do you see this playing out in, in the here and now over the summer and how are we gonna sort of, you know, basically sort of heal that issue and actually move forward together.

Paolo Gallo (00:18:22): This is a very good question. And a complex one

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:18:26): yeah, yeah, exactly. How many hours have you got?

Paolo Gallo (00:18:29): No, listen, I interest now the perhaps to, to insight the first one is I, I fully understand the people, organizations and society looking forward to restart in what, as I said, I call in a new context, not in a new normal. Okay. And therefore the idea of reset and restart is psychologically appealing because everybody just want to get there. Okay. I joking beside, for example, a few weeks ago, when I went for the first time to have a haircut, just the experience of, of going to the barber made me happy, and I never felt so happy to go to the barber all my life, just because it smell like a back to certain element of normality in my life. You know, so the idea that society would have a reset is appealing. And in fact the world economy forum for which I was honored to cooperate and work as head of HR there for a few years as called the new Davos. So that was next year. , it’s called the great reset.

Paolo Gallo (00:19:38): If you on YouTube and you Google what economy form grade reset, you’re gonna see a video and and it is very, it is very appealing. The idea now is I have a very simple question, which is who’s gonna push the bottom of great reset of reset, because if the reset is decided by the very same people organization in society, they end up in that situation. Then I have a problem. Okay. This is not about, and just to be clear, it’s not about advocating, going the streets, burning cars, destroying shops, and being violent. This is not about anarchies better, but I think as human being with, with judgment and with ethic and moral compass, we really wonder and going a little bit deeper to say, hold on a second, who’s going to decide how the new system’s gonna be reset, because if it’s made by the very same organization and people, they create a situation, then quite frankly, they’re not credible.

Paolo Gallo (00:20:40): And let me be very, very specific because I’m here also from the tone voice, you may understand that I’m a, I’m I’m not happy with the situation. Let’s take Facebook. Okay. As you know think about the Cambridge analytical scandal. Think about the fact that recently many companies as boycotted Facebook, Facebook has fundamentally given away millions of data to influence election for Brexit before in, in, in the Caribbean island, I think Tobago. And of course, with the Trump reelection, these people have billions and billions of data. They can influence not only consumer choices, but political ideas. So is Facebook part of the gray reset or is Aramco the companies polluted the most on the planet be on the gray reset are a private equity funds organization that have made billions for the owners of the companies left crumbles to the investors, part of the reset organizations.

Paolo Gallo (00:21:49): They have not appointed African American women, disabled gay people, part of the reset, because if this pay, these people are not credible. So you, you understand also by my tone of voice, that really pissed off think that the very same guys they created this system always started. They magically, we appear on the scene and say, oh, let me restate the system because these are the very same people that will benefit again. So that to me is if this is not a feasible, alternative, what it is, and I think civil society, minorities of women and people that were not at the table until recently should be at the table in driving and shaping the decision for the new future is unacceptable. The 85% of the wealth has been created in the last 10 years is went to the 1% of the population is unacceptable. That right now the stock market went up 40% in the last two months, while 43 millions people lost their job in United States. So to gray said, yes, but let’s wonder who’s going to do that because if they, the same people they didn’t before I do have an ethical political and social problem.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:22:58): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thought it was fascinating. The point you’re making there about the key thing about this all moral compass, and this brings us to, to your book, the compass and the radar amazing point, you’re making there a couple of times at both the beginning and later on the book about what really influenced you in this instance, your father and that amazing thing that he said to you when you were a school child and he flew over from Brazil to see you and said after your first day at school parallel, starting tomorrow, don’t talk about what you did, but ask yourself if you love what you do, what you have learned, and if you’ve managed to help others, nothing else matters. I thought one incredible statement.

Paolo Gallo (00:23:39): No, here is, is there is an emotional and intellectual component on the first one is, is is an adult, an incidentally. I’m 57. I have the same aging, which my father died. Wow. So he died very young. I was 14, 15 when he died. I do remember that he returned back from, from Brazil where he was working to, to, to take us, to bring us back from the first day of school. And then he asked me exactly the question I just referred to , don’t, don’t, don’t think about the activities that you perform, but wonder yourself ask yourself if you love what you’re doing, if you learn something new, if you help other people, so love, help and learn my own compass, you know, so if you think about her is an amazingly powerful compass in your life.

Paolo Gallo (00:24:34): You know, love is not the romantic statement. Oh my God, I love playing guitar. I, I be playing guitar with with Bruce Princeton. It’s really like, Hey, you know, what is your talent, how you develop your talent, how you, you impact do you have a pleasure in what you’re doing? Do you see you influencing people, organizations and situations by, by whatever you’re doing in whatever profession you’re doing, and you can do it in so many different ways. And the second one is learn, learn is is not just a genetic statement of accumulating, maybe some deployments, but is a mindset of continuous curiosity. And the last three months has been, you said a shown at the beginning of this conversation, a kind of a, a master in in a, in, in psychological situation from everybody on the planet is help.

Paolo Gallo (00:25:25): And when I say help, I Don mean in a condescending way, but in terms of being available to people when they need being available for, you know, organization situations and, and by investing in good faith you develop your own relationship capital. And and and I want to share maybe an experience that I’m having here in Geneva. Geneva is Switzer is one of the richest places on earth, you know, in Geneva is a particularly rich Canton , you know, a lot of jewelry, rich people, wonderful villas. You see a lot of Ferrari Bentley in the lamb. Also, you, you have the sensation as soon as you arrive, that is is a place where there are lot of people with a lot of money. However, , there are also 15,000 sounds, PAE, meaning people that are let’s say illegally here they have any documentation.

Paolo Gallo (00:26:21): And because of the crisis these people became apparent that they, they have no means to, to sustain their lives now because they lost their jobs. And a lot of rich people fired them during the coronavirus. So let’s say, you know you know, they, they need the ma the gardener, the driver, or whatever it is, and these people end up end up you know in a very difficult spot. And they cannot even go and claim some government help because they’re not even registered there. So if you is immediately deported, so they’re in a bloody difficult spot. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So there are some charter organizations here they’ve done a deal to say, we want to help them and the Geneva state allow them to, to do so. And and every Wednesday and every Saturday, there are literally thousand of people going there to collect goods let say, pasta, vegetable, so diapers or tooth something that helps them to, to survive in a decent and dignified way.

Paolo Gallo (00:27:23): And I’ve been volunteering for, for, for these guys for, for quite a while I go there. And I guarantee to you when you stay there for six or seven hours and you give food the, the bag worth about 25 to 30 euros. Yeah. You have people queuing for three or four hours to get a 20 or 25 euros worth of goods with you know, tomatoes or, or pasta, or, or that, or something like this is a very humbling experience. Sure. That also gives you a sense of how many people are suffering. And now unacceptable is a system where some people are, you know, you know, making huge amount of money. And most of the people are struggling literally to put dinner and lunch together in the same day. Yeah. Yeah. I think this is not about being on the right or on the left politically. This is about understanding that society has created a small group of super privileged people. Yeah. And a much larger group of people that struggling, and they, they can’t really guarantee any future for the kids. This is, to me is profound injustice.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:28:32): And it’s interesting. I mean, to me on that taking one specific point out of that, you, you mentioned, you know, it’s how important it is to, to understand what’s going on. I mean, the two things you mentioned in the book there first of all, in terms of, you know basing one’s decisions on reality, as opposed to purely image. So, you know, you’re talking about, you know you know, Plato said, you know, a good decision is based on knowledge, not numbers, and I’ll mix Plato with your daughter, because so, so Plato talking, about’s all about knowledge. If you like a bit, likeactually say later, like Stein who spoke all about sort of, you know, reality and, and the sort of an experience we live, and then you’re talking about your daughter and just how important it is to listen to people. . Yeah. Just talk a bit about that in terms of, cause things often, you know particularly in the context of this conversation from a, if you say from a, from a corporate advice, point of view, the sort of things you’d be talking about in your presentations and speeches, you know, it’s often said that corporates organizations, agencies, brands are incredibly deaf when it comes to really realizing the genuine experience of their consumers.

Paolo Gallo (00:29:43): No, here is, is a very, another important point that I raise, no. So I read an article recently that according to link in the most required skill in pretty much heavy job, but surely at executive level is communication. Okay. and that’s pretty obvious to certain extent is people get it. Oh yeah. Communication is important. But then what does it mean communication? And for most of the organization, communication is I’m talking to people, if not, I’m talking people. And as I’ve been director resource for many organization work forum world, and I’ve seen hundred of leaders and very few of them understood the communication. Start by listening, start by listening, staff, constituency, communities, clients, providers, unions, minorities, they don’t, most of them, they just go on stage in a well rehearsed show and they download on people. What they think is important.

Paolo Gallo (00:30:55): Now, most of them are very clever people. So I very rarely, I, I, I, I, I thought, well, this guy is an idiot. I mean, most of the time I thought, my God, this is very impressive. So I’m not the, the, the quality of the message that was delivered, but it was only them talking to people, never listen. I have a situation which you know, I advise you know, the, the chief executive to, to, to do a town whole meeting and to dedicate the least half of the time in listening people question. And I remember this person talking for close to two hours, and then he said, I have two minutes for one question, but that’s kind of a revealing yeah, yeah. For that individual you know, I devote 98, 90 9% of the time in listening to you. And I may pick up a question if I have the time to, or that’s not a good example.

Paolo Gallo (00:31:43): So to me this is part of the new leadership that that we need to develop and wanna talk about collaboration, collaboration start by listening. Somebody else’s view. It’s not like, you know, let’s have a coffee, let’s talk about soccer. It’s really respect in understanding where people coming from, what their, why they see things in a certain way, you know? And and this is something in my view most of the leaders fall short and on the positive note, at least I believe women, women have a, a much a much bigger capacity to engage meaningful conversation because most of them start by listening. Start by engaging, start with cooperation while I don’t wanna generalize. Men tend to, let me tell you my views. We should be doing this da, da, maybe very clear in the message, but the message doesn’t allow any conversation and that’s, to me regretable,

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:32:40): And, and that point about having meaningful conversations listening to others’ points of views, adapting our viewpoints accordingly you know, as he also so John May keen sort of, you know, famous quote about, you know, he changes happy to change his mind when the facts change, et cetera. Is that part of what you are talking about in the book when you’re talking about you know, the, the issue of building trust is the central issue in an organization. And one of the internal issues in many organizations is that there is just a complete lack of trust, perhaps due to, or one of the things due to the fact of their, there being so few meaningful, two way conversations,

Paolo Gallo (00:33:23): No, again, in every relationship professional or personal trust is the foundation of that conversation without trust you, you don’t have any, and you’ll see in the political debates that are currently occurring pretty much everywhere is being polarized between two opposite views. And one doesn’t even consider that the other people may have a reason to raise an issue. Okay. And, and, and therefore, without building trust you can’t have a conversation. You have a noises going from one to the other, but you, you don’t have a conversation. So the question then, how do you build trust? And trust is the foundation of of of, of working on society. I give you, I give you an example that struck me. And I still remember after many years in 1963, which weighed the year in which I was born, the GDP per person of South Korea and Nigeria were exactly the same

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:34:27): Wow.

Paolo Gallo (00:34:27): GDP per person. Not of the country, because the country is different of different number of people. Sure. But per person was exactly the same. Now you fast forward 50 years later and you see South Korea, number nine or 10 in the, in the, in the planet. Yeah. But Nigeria still struggling well below average in terms of GDP per person. Yeah. And fun enough, Nigeria has an amazing wealth in terms of zinc gas, oil diamond. I mean, they have a lot of natural resources and South Korea has nothing in terms of natural resources. So if you look at the problem from the purely economist standpoint to say, that can be possible because these guys have, have a lot of let’s say natural resource and the other guys have nothing. And, and how comes that they prosper and they don’t. Now of course we can discuss about corruption, but corruption is not the, the, the beginning of the problem.

Paolo Gallo (00:35:26): The beginning of the problem is in South Korea. So this was analysis done by the word bank many years ago, South Korea, people and citizen trust the other people in this society. They’re gonna do their work. So they trust the banking system, the schooling system, the political system. And there is a reciprocal trust that everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to do, which incidentally, another characteristic of Switzerland, where, where I live okay to North Korea, sorry, south North Korea is a different we can discuss about this. But if you go to to Nigeria, the opposite is true. So society, they trust their tribes, but they do not trust the system. So trust people in my own tribe, in my own bubble, but I don’t trust anybody else. So lack of trust in society is the reason why a society doesn’t work. And then you end up with corruption, blah, blah, blah.

Paolo Gallo (00:36:28): This kind of stuff. Yeah, yeah. Again, this is not an HR issue. Somebody wants to cut and be cute at night. A sugar coat in whatever is actually the way it works. and why they told us Sean, we we’re talking to each other because we trust each other. Know they trust, I wouldn’t be here. You wouldn’t be there. So, so is absolutely important that the trust is, is earned. And what breaks my heart is is is the constant defamation of the other side which is fundamentally little, is, is disintegrating any elemental trust in society? And the damage is gonna be well above the next political election. Yeah. Yeah. An example that I, I would really heard yesterday, there was a picture of a Biden giving a small kiss on the head of a little girl. And then everybody in the Trump family, starting from Trump junior, his son start tweeting this picture to say, look, this guy is a pedophile tendency. And this Twitter was shared I think two and a half million times in, in 24 hours. Wow. What they forgot to mention that was a funeral and the daughter was her grand the granddaughter of Joe Biden because somebody in the family passed away two days earlier. And so Joe Biden was consolating this little daughter that was actually, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Paolo Gallo (00:37:58): So here to me is, is, is an example of what does it mean disintegrating trust? Because’s two and a half million people. They trust the person in their tribe. Trump. Yeah. And they probably start to affiliate to they put some ideas to say, look, the other guy is a PDO. The will never vote for somebody like him. Of course he is not. Yeah. Yeah. After totally manipulated by taking a picture in a certain way, without an explanation. But if you think about, if you do it once, okay. Is, is regretable, but it’s probably not, it’s not gonna break trust in society if you do it as a, as a sport every day.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:38:41): Yeah,

Paolo Gallo (00:38:41): Yeah. For years, what you have left. Well, nothing. And that’s why I, I, I believe we are in a difficult spot in, in, in so many element of our, our life.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:38:53): Mm. Not all completely. I mean, just, I know we’ve spoken about it before many times, just the issues around misinformation and disinformation and fake news and alternative facts and how that’s been played around with deliberately in some cases, from the point of view of bad actors on a state level, but also you’re saying on a sort of a, on a, on a tribal level from the point of view of tribal politics and, and all the rest of it is absolutely absolutely appalling. Hence it just, the fascinating work that you alluded to earlier on, you know, right now this month, in terms of the anti-Facebook activity being taken taking place via various brands, all run by people like the, or promoted by the NAACP and, and sleeping giants. So absolutely you know you know, a big shout out to them.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:39:38): Meanwhile moving on in terms of time and the amount of things we have to speak about, cause it’s always so fascinating hearing your views power. What about one of the other points you mentioned one of your recent articles is, and it’s leads to point you’re making earlier on, we’re talking about, you know, the need to pause and the need to slow down. And one of the points you then make is about energy. And you talk about us having four types of energy and how it is at least perhaps let’s talk about that, what those, those types of NNG and why certain ones have been depleted and what we need to do about it as individuals and perhaps as a, as companies, as organizations.

Paolo Gallo (00:40:19): Sure. Now here, I, I think there are two concepts that are very easy to understand and difficult to do something about that. The first one is why we are constantly tired live for second. The coronavirus, which of course is, is, is incredible. The effect, but live this beside for second. And why everybody’s so stressed and tired and, and the rest, no. And interestingly, the, the science has been able to measure the fatigue of our bodies since hundred and 40 years ago. Why? Well, because during the first industrial revolution workers were fundamentally physical workers, people working in assembly lines or working in agriculture and therefore it was let’s say the physical strength was the key. Let’s say skills. So the workers were offering and and science has, has developed a way to, to measure the fatigue that people have in doing physical efforts.

Paolo Gallo (00:41:20): So if you run the marathon a doctor after the marathon will tell you, you have to recuperate for, let’s say three days, five days or whatever, and then you can start again. Okay. Mm. Now the point is and this is Peter drer that since 1956 is invented this term, we not knowledge workers. We’re not anymore physical worker. Most of us are knowledge. OK. Mm-Hmm and the you, you stop to extent measuring the fatigue of the body. You start measuring the fatigue of the mind. And so the particular mind could be measured with what is called cognitive workload, which is an elegant way of say, okay, how much weight your brain has to carry by doing what you’re doing? Okay. So the, the cognitive workload can be measured by fundamentally for criteria. The first one is pressure pressure in terms of time, pressure, how fast are, are are you supposed to, to do things?

Paolo Gallo (00:42:16): The second one is switching an interruption, switching between different activities and interruption. You, you know what it is, I don’t need to explain one is a complexity. So when I teach, when I do webinar courses or whatever, I ask people, and maybe I can ask the listener of this podcast too. If you look at your own activity, do think your work cognitive workload has increased or decreased. And I don’t remember a person in the last four years, they told me it’s actually decreased. I found around 20 to 30% of people, they probably say are kind of the same and 60 to 70% of the people say, oh, it’s really increased. And again, that was even before the coronavirus. Okay. So if we have, then the sense that the fatigue of the mind is increased, what can we do to solve it an organization at times they, they have wrong answers to this problem.

Paolo Gallo (00:43:15): Because for example, they start hiring more people. In which case they have more stress people, or they change the mechanism, they create this continuity workload. So you need to understand what cause this fatigue in order to dismantle, or at least atten some of the, some of the issues. Okay. Which brings to the second topic to say, and how can I then maintain my level of energy? And energy is a term that everybody understood, but people need to understand that are perhaps are different kind of energies that we use during the day, the emotional, the physical, the spiritual, and the mental, and based on the different activities that we perform, we use a certain kind of energies. Okay. So and you need to constantly monitor, you know, this level of energy and do something when you see that some of the energies are depleting, and this is a concept.

Paolo Gallo (00:44:14): Everybody understand when it comes to the gasoline in their car or the battering in the iPhone. Yeah. People seems unable to grasp this concept when applies to them. And by overusing the energy, the probably you don’t ever, you start using all the kind of energy. So let me give an example, say, you are exhausted. You have not slept well. But you have an important meeting. Well, you drag yourself out over the bed. You go to important meetings. You do, you, you, you, you, you are your best. Now this usually works if you do it once or twice or three times, but if you do it in a continuous way for several months, you are depleting every kind of energy you left and you end up out. Yeah. So here is not about, you know, going on vacation to demos every month for three weeks, really, to, to set boundaries. Literally this morning, Sean, before the conversation, I was reading that the number of hours of work worked hours during the lockdown is increased by two and a half per day by working from home.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:45:21): Wow.

Paolo Gallo (00:45:22): This, so some people say, well, it’s not a big deal because I don’t have commuting time anymore. Fair. I prefer to work on a bus is probably true, but you know, if you working, they start at seven 30 in the morning and you still have a, you know, a webinar or a conference call attending, living evening, and you do this for three consecutive months. That’s a big, big, big a big problem and the recipe for burnouts. So in my speeches, in my activities, I usually help people to assess this kind of a situation and then to put some meaningful actions to reduce on this amount of some of the C workload to reach out the energy. And, and I, I personally believe is a, is a big theme for people in an organization going forward.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:46:06): Mm mm. Wow. How interesting that’s, again, that point about just the realities of of work during the lockdown, during the pandemic and, and, and how that has actually impacted people on a sort of working from home basis when we’re all being sort of living on zoom, et cetera. I thought it was interesting having said that, that one of the points that you also make in the in your article, when you’re talking about again, how to deal with the realities of what’s been forced upon us when, as you were saying, when we’ve been, when we’ve all been punched in the face by Mike Tyson not a good thing. Interesting to me that you saying that the person we were before COVID 19 will be better at the end of the journey

Paolo Gallo (00:46:46): Provided that we take time to understand about the learning.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:46:51): Mm.

Paolo Gallo (00:46:51): So this what I mean, because think about this is my coaching yeah. That I’m wearing now. Yeah. And this is such an interesting topic in my view and relevant for our organization. We all got hit by coronavirus period. Okay. Coronavirus, maybe the only positive things. There was very democratic virus. It didn’t hit a certain C certain population. It was for everybody. Okay. So we will be better people if we reflect about the learning associated with that experience. OK. If we don’t, we are gonna be probably, we, we we’ve missed an amazing opportunity to learn that this phrase never missed an opportunity of a good crisis. This is a, is a great crisis. Great. Not in terms of, we are happy that we have it, but in terms of great in terms of impact, and therefore we have to, to, to learn, let, let me, let me give you maybe two, two examples.

Paolo Gallo (00:47:56): Okay. About companies which I found are relevant, one is Ferrari. The second one is Disney mm-hmm Ferrari. I wrote an article was published yesterday as a developer program called back on track, which is understandably very relevant for them because they’re on the track. OK. So what did they do was well, we want, they wanted to bring people back for but they did a series of measures policies and and, and, and things that they’ve done, you don’t need to support work to return safely at, at, at, at work. So they’ve did the tester for themself and their families. They have organized interesting working schedules, which allows people to work and to be at home. They developed some training programs. They put some measures much more than just putting some hand sanitizer at the entrance. They did blood tested.

Paolo Gallo (00:48:51): They’ve done amazing things have not fired anybody. Mm-Hmm wow. Senior people, senior leadership have, have cut their salaries by significant amount, but they’ve not reduced the salaries of the people at the low and middle level. OK. So this for me is, is a great example of, well, we’ve learned that we are in the middle of the crisis. We’ve learned that we have to pay people first. We’ve learned that want to continue production. And we’ve learned that if we have to do some sacrifice, sacrifice stuff from the top, OK. Okay. This is, to me, is a beautiful example of learning, acting and doing something that is meaningful. Mm. But if you look at a companies like cer sole, that is now bankrupted. Yeah. Yeah. Disney that is fired, fired 43,000 people in one day while giving senior executive salary increases. Or if you look at Richmond Richmond in which you know, the end of a HR has been fired because while she was pushing to reduce salary to 37,000 people, her salary went from 1.9 to three millions in one year.

Paolo Gallo (00:50:04): Oh my God. Well, these are also examples that makes you believe that what you’ve learned is the wrong thing. so, or maybe they’ve learned the right things, but they’ve done their own things. So here here is important. We, we end up as better human beings. If we learned about, you know, this experience and we take meaning for decision for the sake of society. Mm. Meaning for decision, for the sake of the very few elected and you know, screw the rest. I’m afraid that that’s not a good, good, good trajectory in, in the learning. So I’m encouraging people to, to reflect and reflect his his text talk or what you’ve seen in order to change your behavior going forward.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:50:51): Mm mm. Wow. Well, an inspiring statement to put it mildly. And it’s interesting, again, I take one of the points you mentioned there about doing things to the good of society. And again, one of the points you made in one of your recent articles when we are looking at things like the climate crisis and ecological emergencies, and I’m quoting you here, you said that saving the planet, isn’t the hobby of one 16 year old girl called Greta. So just that issue of, and I know this was a really, really big topic, certainly at DVOs I believe last year and also mentioned the previous year. But just, just how important is that, that organizations of all types don’t use the opportunity inverted of the pandemic to, to if you, to, to walk away from the, the climate emergency.

Paolo Gallo (00:51:42): Well, yeah. You know, Sean, I’m not an expert on climate change. So the one enter into the, what, what society should be doing in reference to this, because it’s not my area, but I think important to reflect on on two, on two things. One is narrative and visibility. The second one is credibility and substance. These are two different things. OK. Yep. And one thing that you, that, that you’ve witnessed in the last few, few, few months, a few years that the narrative, the visibility prevails over the substance. Okay. Yeah. And think about Donald Trump, for example, Donald Trump is a guy that has failed pretty much heavy business. He tried from hotels to university airlines. Yeah. Everything. But then, because he was the host of the apprentice. All a sudden looks like he is the most brilliant business mind ever. Well , he was not he failed many times. He left amazing debts behind him. He didn’t pay a lot of his debt. Sure. But you know, if you ask even before the election, who was a businessman in the United States, 95% of the people in the states, would’ve said oh, Donald Trump forgetting people like Steve jobs or

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:53:00): Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Paolo Gallo (00:53:01): Or Bill Gates or whatever. Okay. So narrative prevails. Mm. But substance actually is is, is a different story. So yesterday, and I think got a bit of due trouble. There was a post on linking by female leadership with put in several articles and pictures of Sandy Sanders, the CEO of COO sorry of Facebook. Yep. And and they got, I don’t know, 300,000 views and a picture of her pontificated about what leadership is all about. Yeah. But I believe, and I want to be fair that that are amazing women they’ve displayed leadership skills much better than she has. Think about angel America. She think about Monio, Fabi Genti or, or, or crystal the IMF or, or Christine Lagar now the the European yes.

Paolo Gallo (00:54:01): Or all these women have displayed amazing leadership skills. Okay. But the very same people they’re supporting or the, the, the, the promotion of leadership are women in leadership position. And they’re absolutely right. They pick up the wrong example. Yeah. Because took a person that I said, nothing for all this kinds of of Facebook and actually has profited from here, from, from this. And just, just, just to be, you know, fair, the person is 1.7 billion net worth in their pocket. Okay. Yeah. So here’s to me is interesting to say, okay, you have a bunch of people that are promoting leadership for women and rather than looking at the substance and as so many amazing women that displayed phenomenal leadership skills, they pick up that person, which to me should not be in any example for their own reason. And the reasons are visibility and power. Look at the substance, look at credibility, look at integrity. You will not pick up the CEO of Facebook. You’ve

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:55:01): Yeah,

Paolo Gallo (00:55:01): Yeah, yeah. Somebody else. And so, to me, it’s interesting that in, in, in society now people are fooled by images and intelligent narrative and videos, et cetera, et cetera, they tend to forget the substance. And so I’m encouraging people to say, do your homework, look at the substance spend five minutes before you, you elect somebody as your intellectual hero, try to find out who the heck is that person because otherwise you, you end up following you know, people like Belu or Trump or, Or yeah, yeah, yeah. Or Sevi, or these kinda guys they shouldn’t should, and shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:55:39): Yeah. Yeah, totally. I thought it was extraordinary mentioned there. I mean, yes. So when, when it’s highlighting one of the, you know, wide number of incredibly inspiring and powerful and thought provoking and, you know progressive female leaders, someone like, you know, Kiner Arden, the prime minister of New Zealand who obviously is, had a, had an amazing pandemic from the point of view of the, the leadership that she’s displayed there, versus someone like Sharon Sandberg, perhaps the less said the better on that one. Can I start just for last sort of while a available to us just the last sort of few questions, one, I might just, I’d like to get you to talk about the importance of a word that is very rarely used in in business circles and that is generosity.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:56:27): And the reason I mentioned generosity comes back again to your book. And I just to give a quote from that again, when it talks about the basis of your of your concept around the compass and the radar, and in there you put a brief paragraph toward the end of the book. You say the new reality of the fourth industrial revolution forces us to think and act in a new way. We can’t solve new problems by applying old methodologies or outdated mindsets to truly adapt to the future of work. We will need to be guided by compass and radar that helps us avoid dangers and allows us to create opportunities for everybody. I think it’s fascinating that point you’re making there about creating opportunities for everybody, not just as many books would have it for ourselves. So perhaps just, again, just to clarify your, your, your thinking there around, you know ethics and generosity and, and real purpose in terms of being a the way forward.

Paolo Gallo (00:57:30): Oh yeah. Listen, I, I worked for, for the word bank for, for many years, and I have a huge amount of respect for this organization, which is far away from being perfect, but I think is a commendable, remarkable organization that I was honored to, to work for many years now. And and here, when you work for the word bank, or what, what did I do? Well, I spent probably four years of my life in places like Ethiopias Zimbabwe, Guatemala, Brazil, LA Ghana. I mean, the lease is quite long. I can go on and on for a while. what do you see when, when, when you’re there? No, for example, country that I immensely immensely love is is Brazil. I been many times to Brazil. You go to R Janero, you take a stro in S greater, but then, you know, I also went to thes and thes that are close to millions people living in horrific situations, or you go to where the, the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel is one and a half hour driving.

Paolo Gallo (00:58:37): And and, and you see half million people living literally in the streets, eating rats and water from the street. And if you were to eat or drink what they eat and drink, you would probably die within three hours. Okay. Yeah. So what do you see when you work in these kind of organizations you see that the planet worked for 2%, let’s say 10% of the people. Okay. And didn’t work for the other guys. It didn’t work at all. It didn’t work in terms of possibilities. It didn’t work in terms of school in health education anything safety we keep on talking about a fourth industry evolution and internet and 5g and artificial intelligence, but I like to remind people, there are still two millions people that do not have a toilet. Okay. So when we we’ve been told, please stay home, wash your hands, implies that people have a home and have a toilet or a bathroom, but that’s not the case for close to two billions people.

Paolo Gallo (00:59:37): Okay. When you see this on a, on a, on a, for, for, for decades in your life you start to wonder if the system that we designed has been, let’s say inclusive enough for the people that they, they have, the misfortune that to, to be born in a country is struggling like Somalia that have been many times or, or, or, or whatever. So when, when, when we have to think, when we rethink about this system, we cannot just think about our own career, our own wealth, our own family or communities. We have to think about in a larger scale. Not because we want to be super, super nice and cute, but because if we don’t wind up heavy, the thousand of thousand of desperate people that live in the county, because they have no better alternatives.

Paolo Gallo (01:00:29): So to me, the possibility of of helping on that debate too, is based on the possibility of of helping people there. My mother was a refugee when the, the Germans bombarded Milan in 1943, she, she, she, she went to another part to Italy and because that was safer than BI Milan. So when people leave everything behind, they don’t do it because they want to be in an expected package from Goldman Sachs, they leave, the kids are dying. So I, I generally believe that the compass is not only a moral compass for your own professional choices, but it is also moral compass for society and society. They have that you can see they’re working like the Scandinavian countries, for example, in society, in which you have a, a small amount of amazingly rich people like Russia, Brazil, Mexico, or, or, or United States, and a huge amount of people are struggling. This, this society are not working.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (01:01:28): Mm, wow. wow. Wow. That’s the extraordinary stuff. Well, panel, I think we’re, we’re just about out of time now, unfortunately, cause I know you’re a very, very busy man, but just to I, I know you’ve got last sort of couple questions one’s gonna be you know, what’s coming up for you in the sort of reasonably short to medium term future. Cause I know you’ve got exciting news about your book. And then secondly, the final thing will just be just to remind ourselves briefly for organizations out there who are looking for a absolutely dynamic speaker to come and talk to them over the next few months. Just remind us again, what specific point at the moment is really interesting. You, so go on then. So give us your news first and, and then perhaps the, the, the final summing up on exactly what it is that, that you’d like to to talk about with brands and organizations as we go through to the end of the year.

Paolo Gallo (01:02:25): No, first of all, thanks Sean. For, for this conversation, I enjoyed it. Hopefully also people listened, enjoyed it, but perhaps a couple points. One goes back to, you know, what my father told me, do you love what you do when you helping all the people you’re learning? So whatever I do is within this domain, I, what I’m, what I’m trying to do in my writing, speaking coaching is to help people and organization in this transformative moment of, of, of our life know and in a meaningful way. So it’s not about moving from a job to the other, try to make a few extra dollars more per, per month having a meaningful professional trajectory. Yeah. So own activity with my speaking and with my writing and my coaching, I try to help people and organizations in that direction. So in fact, I’m not a motivational speaker.

Paolo Gallo (01:03:23): I, I don’t believe in motivational speaker. I don’t believe a person is unmotivated. And then all of a sudden leave the, the, the room motivated after listening somebody, I don’t believe in an external transformation process. I internal realization of meaning of of purpose and I’m usually help organization on, on this respect. So fact that I worked for organization like board bank, what economy forum gave me the opportunity to have maybe a bigger picture, not because I’m more intelligent, the other people at all C because I, I, by doing what I’ve been doing the last 20 years, I think I got the, the, the, the radar, the big picture, and I’m able to put this radar and and, and the compass of the service of people organization that usually usually works. And and the organization that I have the honor to collaborate with are usually quite happy about the support that I give to them in that journey.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (01:04:23): Absolutely. Fantastic stuff. And then finally, we mustn’t forget Paolo the book. I know you’ve got some news about the book.

Paolo Gallo (01:04:31): Yeah, yeah. Mean basically again, this book would be released in paperback edition in September, September 17 has been released already in 95 languages as one, the prize of best book and leadership development and career development in United States last year. So I think I, I wrote this book for the sake of helping people in their professional journey, and I’m delighted that this is happening for so many people on the planet. I didn’t expect this. And to me, success is about having an impact on for people and incidentally give the money of this book to charity. So I’m, I’m not really driven to, to, to financial motivation about the book.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (01:05:09): Wow, well, a suitably inspiring end from this such an inspiring person. And all I say to all the listeners is that I’ve read the book a couple of times, Paolo is kind enough to, to sign a copy for me. And believe me, it’s one of those books. I really wish I’d read when I was a, a lot younger and I shall be ensuring that my teenage children read it in due course. But anyway, so that’s been a really, really interesting talk. So, so thank you so much. So, so the renowned speaker, author, coach, and professor Paolo Gallo, thank you very much.

Paolo Gallo (01:05:45): My pleasure. And by the way, do read Sean’s book as well, Influencer and Revolutionaries it is an excellent book as well. Thanks.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (01:05:54): I should be sending you the cash for that and due course . Thank you very much.

Paolo Gallo (01:05:59): Thanks.

Sean Pillot De Chenecey (01:06:04): Thank you for listening to The Speaker Show podcast. Please leave a rating on iTunes. We’d really appreciate it. And also it’d be great. If you could subscribe to the podcast itself, you’ll find it also on Google podcasts, SoundCloud, or your favorite podcast app. 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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