Leadership's Edge

Mar 29 2020 33 mins 1

Leadership coach and author of Expand Shannon Graham is focused on changing the world by doing the impossible. On this show,​ he interviews top leaders from around the world combine with insightful solo episodes. What is the future of leadership? How can we unlock more of our individual and collective potential? What is the secret to creating a legacy of fulfillment and achievement? Discover all this and more on Leadership's Edge.





001 - Leadership's Edge
Mar 29 2020 31 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.Due to the popularity of Leadership's Edge first episode, we bring it back again!Leadership is the most important factor in moving our world forward. I believe in what I call personal leadership. Whether you have a business or you have a dream, you are the leader of that. And your success in your business, in your legacy or even in your personal life comes down to your ability to successfully lead it. This show is going to dive into the mindsets, the tactics, and the strategies that are going to help you take your leadership to the next level. Today, we're going to talk about what I feel like is one of the most important factors in leadership: worthiness. It is your ability to accept your own value. Most people that I have worked with over the span of 16 years, and even thousands of people from all over the world, all struggle with this concept of worthiness. When we doubt our value, one of two things happens. Either we never gain the love and respect that we desire, or we do gain all of those things, but they never feed us the way that they're really supposed to. And so either way, you lose.As a leader, first and foremost, you are creating whatever it is that you're creating. Worthiness is an inside job and most people have it backward. Most people are looking for their value externally and that becomes a problem because your value is your value. No one else can give that to you. No amount of money will validate that for you. A big opportunity that I see from a leadership standpoint is to be able to create a wave of leaders who feel deeply worthy and create their reality from a deep-seated place of worthiness. Think about what I call the ROI, the ripple of the impact that would create.Worthiness comes down to your identity. At an early age, we begin to believe that our value is conditional. You'll get a toy if you're good, we will give you a car if you get good grades in school. It also creates what's called a performance-based identity. You perform for your value. Now the danger there is that what if some of those things change? Does that mean that you're no longer worthy? And so the question that you have to ask yourself is, what is my worthiness story? The goal for this episode today is for you to saturate into the idea and truth that your value is unconditional. If we are desiring a different future, then we must internally change first. I want you to take a moment and close your eyes and sink into this feeling of I am worthy. I am enough. I unconditionally accept and love myself and just let yourself feel how that feels. It might feel a little awkward at first, and I encourage you to just be okay with that.Where are the areas in your life where your worthiness has messed you up? Is it money? Is it relationships, or is it just your own relationship with yourself? Where has your worthiness story held you back? And then let's ask a new question. If your worthiness story was different, what would that part of your life look like?For a long time in leadership, there has been this concept that leaders must sacrifice themselves. I believe in sacrifice in the right context, but I do not believe that your happiness, your fulfillment, and what it is that you truly desire to be, to do, to have, and to give as a person should be sacrificed. Your job right now is to decide that you have a new story. It is your job as an individual to claim as much of your worthiness as possible to deeply believe that you are enough - because it’s going to create a world that yields results and makes an impact. The majority of our leadership has led from a place of lack. Now it's time to usher in an era of leadership...


010 - Through The Artistic Lens
Dec 09 2019 35 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.I have considered myself to be an artist. When I was young, I grew up doing martial arts and writing poetry. I always looked at life through this artistic lens; and with that artistic lens came an appreciation for mastery and for beauty. That lens of being an artist has served me very well throughout my life and frankly, through my ability to be a leader and to make an impact. There's another side to being an artist that I believe is important to talk about: passion. If you are an artist, it means that you are willing to be immersed in something. We live in a culture currently that is kind of shy when it comes to extreme words like ‘obsessed’ or ‘addicted’, because they can often bring with them negative connotations. To be immersed in something doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. I think sometimes culturally, we can miss out on a lot of the juice that life has to offer. Life as an artist is the willingness to go to those extremes - to feel the highs, to feel the lows, but also to put yourself out there. If it's one thing that artists do on a regular basis, whether it's music or drawing or art, they're willing to express themselves publicly. They're willing to put themselves out there and be critiqued for it. I think what our global culture needs the most is more people who are willing to be self-expressed. This has served me very well in my life because everything I've done, whether it's relationships or my professional career, have all benefited from this lens of being an artist. I have this philosophy that I call ‘highest probability of deep impact’. I heard John Travolta say that he had been offered lots of different jobs over his career; but if he was offered a job that he didn't feel was worth it to him, then he wouldn't do it. Many actors will take whatever jobs they can get, but he was so committed to the craft. He was so committed to the mastery that he was only willing to do jobs that he really liked and that he felt like he could do a good job with. And in his world, by the way, doing a good job means create something meaningful for other people. One of the greatest things I ever learned from Tony Robbins was, “If you want to change your life, you have to change your standards.” My question to you would be: what is it that you are willing to turn down? What is it that you're willing to say no to? You might say that you don't think of yourself as an artist. You should. The reason is because we are all the creators of our reality. We all have the same opportunity to create our own reality, the way we see fit. Life can be as rich, as fun, as expansive, and as impactful as you decide. If your life currently is not exactly the way you want it, then this is a great opportunity for you to reflect on that and to think to yourself, “Maybe I can take more ownership of this ability to create my reality.” The other thing that most people forget about is that you become an example of what's possible. I think a lot of people admire rock stars and movie stars that achieve at a very high level, not because they're famous, not because they have lots of money, not because they travel the world, but because they're so self-expressed. The next best thing is to be a fan and to be in close proximity to the people that are like that. Still, I think it would be better if you decide to be your own version of that. When you do that, you give other people permission to do the same thing. That's leadership. The greatest definition of leadership that I know is that: a leader is not someone who creates more followers but creates more...



009 - Interview with Christopher Graham
Dec 02 2019 32 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.I recently talked with my brother, Christopher Graham. He is quite frankly one of the brightest guys that I know. He graduated from Emmanuel College with a degree in International Relations and Philosophy. The topic that day was essentially how technology is empowering mankind and the collective consciousness. The recent issue that the people Hong Kong were experiencing, made him think about how technology allows people all around the globe to communicate with each other through video, through Twitter, or through any sort of social media. We're able to watch videos and literally hear from these protesters. And that in itself is a great example of how technology is allowing people to become more conscious of their ability to fight for their rights. Moreover, Christopher thinks that social media, at least at this point in time, is sometimes more objective than news. He says it’s because you have an individual sharing their experience with the world. It's unfiltered. He believes that social media and with the advancements of technology and how relatively easy it is today for people to access social media, allows the individual to tell their story to each other. It empowers each other to tell that story. Meanwhile, I believe a collective consciousness is only as good as the individual consciousness. An individual who sees someone else having a voice purely as a function of this piece of technology has the opportunity to be inspired by that, and do that themselves. It's a little bit of this domino effect of when someone sees someone else talking about a subject that they're very passionate about, and it gives them the kind of courage to “pick up the microphone, vocalize, and have a voice for themselves.” Christopher and I also agreed that the youth is becoming a formidable agent for change. Suffering is a universal language that everyone understands. If there's a Twitter video today that you see from kids in Australia that were all protesting together to create climate change, every kid in the world can relate to that. You don't have to understand English, to understand that kids all over the world understand that urge for protests to change the world, and to change the way politics and economics are affecting our climate. Connecting this topic to leadership in the business standpoint, Christopher noted that sometimes, leaders become leaders and they don't even expect to become a leader. Leaders are people who inspire and enact courage within others that they did not know was there. Leaders have such a level of courage that they may not even be aware of how much they're influencing others. He thinks that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are creating a lot of inspiration for younger entrepreneurs and people, who are having that drive to think outside the box and create something new. He believes that similarly with technology leaders in the business world, Bezos and Musk understand the power of social media. They understand how far and how vast their reach can be with social media, and how many eyes and ears can see what they're doing and how they're changing the world. Christopher added that sometimes, people can take things the wrong way. Sometimes kids can see certain people in the spotlight and take it in a negative way. We agreed that with great power, comes great responsibility - especially as we advanced in social media and our ability to expose ourselves to thousands, if not millions, of people within minutes. For me, technology is enhancing the collective consciousness. There's no question about it completely. From a...


008 - Interview with Brad Hollister
Nov 25 2019 61 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.I have talked to a very special guest: Brad Hollister. He is the CEO of Swan Leap, which is currently the number one growing company in the United States. I asked him what he believes are some of the key factors of his company’s growth. If there were two or three pillars that were responsible for that growth, what would they be? Brad answered that the biggest thing that they've done, as far as competitors in their space omit to do, is listening to the customers about what exactly they need. He said that he had his ear to the ground about what the company is, the product division, what problems they are solving, and wherever they can position against the competitors. For him, that's a big piece because they're able to understand better the mindset of the customers. He also thought that one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is they design a product or a solution or a service that they think is brilliant. And it might be, but it doesn't matter what you think as the entrepreneur. All that matters are what the market determines. I prompted another question: “Now that you are producing outstanding results for people, what degree it might be hard to tell about new business? do you think you're acquiring as a function of producing outstanding results for your current and previous people?” Brad responded that it’s like they're building this growing snowball of positivity and happiness. But he said that there's still been some bumps and bruises along the way. Sometimes, when there's turnover within their clients, it can be challenging for them because they don't always come at it with the same approach. He said that here's this interesting change of guard happening right now in business where there is a certain type of professional group that is looking at their vendors as opportunities and partners to collaborate. Brad noted that he loves collaborating with competitors, too. But then, there's that old school mentality of ‘beat up the vendor’. He thinks that it’s another important acknowledgment. But it's not somebody that fits their culture and their ability to do business. They had a relationship with a certain business but in the long run, didn't become sustainable for them any longer. He said that as much as they don't want to lose a customer, they can't jeopardize their employees in their vision there. Brad also discussed that one of the biggest mistakes people are making out there is: yes, your focus was the data; but what are you going to do with it? For him, it doesn't make sense to have AI machine learning big data if you can't change your behavior as a result of it. He added that we should talk about, first of all, the flexibility to rapidly change strategy like mid-day, as opposed to tracking a truck to find out it's late, but you're not going to do anything differently because of it. Moreover, he told me that he read an article recently that talked about the year 2030, and some of the really big trends that are going to be happening during that time. One of them is global empowerment. Because more and more people are going to have access to the internet, more people will be empowered. And therefore, more people will have opportunities to create businesses and income. He said that for the first time in history, the middle-class will actually be larger than the poverty class. Brad does sound like a visionary, to me. Brad mentioned that he’s building probably the coolest thing. He has this little sphere that he has in his phone of contacts of other CEOs that he can call when he has a...


007 - Being Decisive
Nov 17 2019 22 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.Welcome to Leadership's Edge. Today, I want to talk about decisive decision-making. If you're a leader, one of the most valuable skills that you can develop is the ability to make decisions rapidly. I have been in the coaching and consulting world for 16 years, which means I've had 16 years to understand what helps leaders truly have the edge and make a global impact. What are the elements that ultimately hold them back? The ability to make decisive decisions is one of the most important parts of being not just a leader, but a leader that can truly make a huge difference in the world. The challenge in decision-making: a large number of people have a hard time making rapid decisions. I'm sure at some point in your life you've had some big decision and you hesitated or you evaluated or you waited and probably in some way, held you back. The reason for that, if we get underneath the hood, is usually fear. It is the fear of making the wrong decision. That's why we hesitate. That's why we deliberate. That's why we evaluate. It's because we don't want to make the wrong decision. And if we want to go a layer deeper, usually what it means is “I don't trust myself.”Today's focus is all about how you can make the internal shifts to allow you to rapidly make decisions regardless of whether you succeed or you fail. It all stems from that self-trust. Your ability to trust yourself is everything. What that means is very often we can't trust our mind, but we can trust our gut. The idea is to get better at the ability to trust ourselves and not have to spend so much time thinking about things, but just trust ourselves to make the decision. When you make rapid decisions, first of all, what you're doing is you're demonstrating to yourself that you trust yourself. That is an excellent habit for you to develop. The more you deliberate and hesitate, the more you reiterate the habit that you don't trust yourself. So even if I really want you to hear what I'm saying, even if you deliberate and you evaluate, if the essence of that comes from you not trusting yourself, then you still made the wrong decision. If you trust yourself and you rapidly make a decision and it ends up being a mistake, it's still the right decision because you trusted yourself. You can never lose if you trust yourself and you can lose even when you win, when you don't trust yourself.The universe is essentially evaluating and choosing certain ones to come into existence based on their synergy. Think about that. Everything in nature works together. The trees, the ocean, the flowers, the bees, they all work together. It's very synergistic. When big things in a business context are desiring to happen, there is a certain speed in which the universe favors. When deliberation happens and when hesitation happens, the universe begins to feel a little shaky about that. Very often, the more you deliberate in, the more you hesitate, the further you get away from enough innovation and synergy. I think one of the best things you could do is create a culture where two things are happening. You create a culture where everyone from the founders, CEO, all the way down to the janitor, has this culture of self-trust. The amount of innovation and progress that you can create when you make decisive decisions is huge. There are two huge benefits. You create this amazing culture of positivity, and you create a culture of innovation and progress. As Tony Robbins likes to say, nothing has meaning other than the meaning that we give it. You have to be decisive about the meaning that you're gonna give it. Maybe you have a thought...


006 - Courage
Nov 11 2019 27 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.Today, I want to talk about courage. I think courage is the most important aspect of leadership. Courage is important for a number of reasons. It takes courage to go after your dreams. The interesting thing that I find is that even some of the people that I work with who are doing big things in the world lack courage in certain areas. I think courage is the small hinge that swings the big door, as far as results and transformation and impact. I bet you have examples in your own life where courage has really made the difference for you.I believe that leadership is important in a business context. And it cannot exist in a silo, meaning your leadership should be applied to every aspect of your life, which means that your courage should be applied to every aspect of your life. Sometimes you have employees, that you need to have difficult conversations with. I know lots of leaders that don't have the courage to let people go. I know leaders that have hired people and the moment that they hired them, they had this little gut feeling that they were not a good fit. They said yes anyway and they kept that person on board for six months, a year, two years or more because they didn't have the courage to fire them. Then there is the courage as far as being a leader in what your movement is and what it is that you really stand for.The reason that people typically skirt their courage is because of fear. It usually is related to a couple of different aspects of fear. Usually, it's a fear of someone's opinion. It's amazing to me how many leaders want to do big things in the world and they create these amazing businesses and they rally these people behind their vision, and yet they're afraid of what people think.The more you value other people's opinions, the less courage you will have. And the reason is simple: because most likely when you are courageous, it also requires a certain level of honesty. And sometimes that honesty does not go over well. I want you to imagine what life would be like if courage was at the forefront of how you operated. If you constantly seek out things that required high levels of courage, imagine what that would create for you on a regular basis. There's usually a belief system. There's usually a story we're telling ourselves about ourselves. It's about how we feel about ourselves or about how other people are gonna feel about us. We don't want to feel rejected by other people. That’s actually a very fundamental human desire that we have is to be accepted by other people. How many times have we ever seen that a little kid learns how to do something and they want their parents to watch? Why? Because they want their approval. Desiring approval is not a bad thing. However, it becomes a bad thing if it prevents us from growing. What I mean by that is we begin to create what's called a performance-based identity, where our value and our significance purely or mostly comes as a function of other people's opinions.That becomes very dangerous because we decide to play it safe for the most part, and we begin to manipulate ourselves, and how we show up in order to get the recognition and the significance of other people that we desire. That becomes the recipe for disaster because you're manipulating their perception of you rather than just showing up as your authentic, bold, courageous self.Most people who don't believe in themselves have what's called negative expectancy. They go, “Well if I try that, it probably won't work,” or “What if it doesn't work?”, or “What if I fail and then everyone leaves and I'm abandoned?”


005 - Artificial Intelligence
Nov 04 2019 25 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.I truly believe that a major artificial intelligence event is right around the corner. And that's important; because as a leader, you should always be thinking at least 10 steps ahead. If you can understand AI and the implications of what that's going to mean for the future, you can begin to create plans. Many people have this belief that artificial intelligence is going to be a very negative experience. I want to get into the immediate implications of AI. So the one thing that's absolutely certain is that AI is going to replace millions of jobs, which means millions of people are going to be without a job.People would think that's not going to be good. Well, I would beg to differ. The reason for that is because the vast majority of jobs that are going to get replaced are jobs, frankly, that most people don't want. The reason why most people are unhappy in life is because they work at a job that they don't like. It makes total sense. You spend the majority of your time at your job, you spend the majority of your energy at your job, and if you're at a job that you don't like, then there's a lot of un-fulfillment that comes with that.I think that's going to completely revolutionize the plain field because it's going to force people to ask a question that they have not asked themselves yet: what do I want? The question taps into your creativity and your imagination. The challenge with potential is it only comes out when it must. And so what this event is going to do is it's going to force people to essentially become a better version of themselves because the crappy option is not going to be available to them anymore.The next jump in artificial intelligence will be technology that can help human beings bring their ideas to life more easily. 3D printing has absolutely changed the game and that is really just the tip of the iceberg. It is a metaphor for what technology will be able to give people. Technology will give people the ability to take their wildest, most creative ideas and bring them into reality in a very short amount of time.The next phase of AI's growth is the ability to help mankind understand themselves. The first way to think about that is what's called trans-humanism, which is humans and technology merging together. This is kind of similar to what Elon Musk is currently working on in terms of neuro-link: having technology integrate with the human body, having AI integrate with the human body. What if you could remember everything? What if you never got sick? What if the sky's the limit?The other side is simply that technology helps mankind better understand themselves. It is said that that God created man in his image and I have a theory that technology is going to help us understand ourselves in a way that I believe Alan Watts said, “What if man created God in his image so that he could better understand himself?” I truly believe that human beings have way more potential than they even realize. And the one thing that, no matter who I talk to always agrees with me on, is that human beings have way more potential than we think, regardless of what we've been able to achieve so far.The singularity is when AI goes quantum and essentially become self-aware and has the ability to grow itself by itself. And that's where people get a bit scared. Human beings by nature, love to control things. We love to control our reality. The idea that an ultimately intelligent piece of technology would be able to grow itself by itself gets a little scary because we wouldn't have control over it. But what I love to think about is that not that AI will...


004 - The Future of Culture in Business
Oct 28 2019 28 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.Do you ever wonder what the future of culture in business looks like? In today's episode, I'm going to dive deep into what I believe are some of the key pillars of what's the culture of the future.And so let's dive in first foremost and talk about the concept of competition. Competition, first of all, does not exist. it's as real as you make it. It's like fear. There’s this great interview with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Jobs is talking about how in the beginning they were trying to figure out how to compete with Microsoft and they were failing miserably until they realized that their job is not to compete with Microsoft. It is to do their own thing.Second of all, you could take all that bandwidth, time, and energy that you're putting into the fear of competition and what you need to do to be better than the competitor; and put all of that energy and funnel it into how can we be better. So what does that do culture-wise? It creates an ecosystem where people are predominantly focused on creativity rather than scarcity. Scarcity is the other guy that might wipe us out. And then you have a culture of playing the game out of the fear of losing, rather than the desire to win or even better, purely playing the game out of the desire to play the game just simply because you love the game. Let's face it. Sometimes in business, you're going to lose. And so the first concept that you really got to get today is there is no competition. And if your company does believe in competition, you're playing the wrong game. It's time to change the game.The next piece of the puzzle is trust. There are a lot of layers to that. The first piece of the puzzle is they must trust the leadership, not each other. A leader is always the Genesis. The more responsibility a leader takes, the better it is. If you look at something in your company and say, “That's not working,” then if you're taking responsibility, you have the courage and the ability to turn that finger on yourself and say, “I'm not working.” Your company is just a reflection of you, and so if they don't trust each other, probably what that means is they don't trust you. And maybe if you want to go deep, what that means is you don't trust yourself. If everything is a reflection on life, everything externally that you experience is a reflection of what is happening internally. We always learn from behavior. This is synonymous with companies. They talk about culture, they talk about trust, they talk about mission statements and vision. They're very good at talking about it. But very seldom do they really deliver. Does the behavior illustrate what they believe? And so when it comes to trust, the first question is, do you trust yourself? Or how much do you trust yourself? If the answer is “I don't trust myself,” or if the answer is “Not very much,” that might be a good place to start.One of the greatest things you can do is create a leadership style that prioritizes your own self-expression. And so, this always comes back to choice. It always comes back to what you want. Because if you have a strong ability to express yourself, then you're going to give that same permission to your employees. Your employees are going to spend the majority of their time at work. And so that environment absolutely must be a place where they can feel like they can be themselves.This is something I talk a lot on the show about because the two things that employees want the most on the planet are not money. It's acknowledgment. The number one thing that all human beings want is to be acknowledged. From there, the next thing that all employees want is...


003 - The Importance of Doing The Impossible
Oct 21 2019 34 mins  
Visit http://ShannonGraham.com/contact if you are a highly committed leader who is ready for quantum leaps in your personal and professional growth. Let's talk.Today we are talking about the importance of doing the impossible.Let me tell my story first. I was working as a consultant for business owners, helping them with leadership and with their vision. And the challenge was I woke up one day and I realized that people were paying me primarily for my knowledge and my experience. I have a large desire to make an impact on the world. And every person that I work with, I want to help to the maximum ability that I have. I realized that my knowledge and my experience, even though I've been doing this now for 16 years, relatively is still pretty small, based on the amount of value that I want to bring to the table.What do I have that is more valuable? And the answer was clear. Sometimes you have to search for the answers and sometimes they're sitting right in front of you. My greatest value is my imagination and my creativity. Einstein said you cannot solve your problems with the same level of thinking that created them. What I've come to understand is some of the most valuable solutions come from creativity, not from knowledge. In my world, the amount of money that you get paid is in direct correlation to the size of the problems that you solve. I was essentially getting paid to answer questions that I knew the answers to. And I decided to change that. I got curious. I asked myself, “What if I got paid to answer questions that I didn't know the answers to?” What type of money would I be able to create as a function of that? That was a pretty inspiring equation for me to think about. In context of helping people who are going to be asking me questions that I don't know the answers to, what types of things are they going to be wanting to do?We all have these moments in life where we realize that we're living below our potential. And that moment puts us at a crossroad where we can decide what we want to do about it. And I think one of the most powerful things to do in those moments is to decide to take the path less traveled, which is usually the decision to expand.So I created a program where the minimum time commitment to work with me was three years. To most people in the coaching or consulting world, that probably sounds astronomical. And I realized that everything is relative. I thought to myself, if someone has goals that they can achieve within 12 months, then working with them for 12 months makes sense. But if they have really big legacy level dent-the-universe type of goals, then 12 months is completely inadequate and three years relatively is a good start. It completely changed my perspective about time and commitment.So the first part is: if you are feeling the desire to expand, go for it. And the second part is to make sure it's big enough that you don't know how to do it. That's the benefit of doing the impossible. It requires you to be a bigger version than you've ever been. It requires you to be more resourceful, more capable, more powerful, more creative, more imaginative than ever. When you do the impossible, there is this amazing echo effect. Not only does that help you elevate, but it helps all of the people who get to experience the impact that you've created. Realize that whatever they think it is that's impossible is probably possible too. And so, that ignites them. That gives them permission to embark on their impossible. So think about the concentric circles and think about the ripple effect. As a function of doing it, you become this expanded version of you and you do something that the world didn't believe was possible.If you are a visionary leader who...


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