Anne Riches

Episode 41: Anne Riches explains how to successfully lead change

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Bio Anne Riches
Anne is the Founder of The Riches Group Pty Ltd (TRG)
established in 1996. Using evidence-based strategies, Anne specializes in working with leaders to implement organisational change faster and more effectively with minimum disruption, and maximum buy-in.

 

On today’s episode, Anne Riches shares her ‘Life Changing Question’, a question that has allowed her to manage through many unexpected problems.

 

 

 

Anne Riches is explaining: how to successfully lead your people through change successfully Click To Tweet Anne Riches is sharing a 'Life Changing Question' that will get you through any difficult situation Click To Tweet

 

Anne also shares
– change leadership, Neuro science
– how neuro science can be used to help change in an organisations
– change is not episodic, it is continuous
– how organisations are in constant change and how as leaders we need to be ready to deal with the initial emotional response.
– failed change is not usually down to the process, it’s down to the people side – our brain responds emotionally before it responds logically
– the initial emotional response can get in the way of what the organisation is trying to do – so knowing how to manage that is critical to lead successful change.
– resistance in organisational change is often because we don’t engage our team, and they feel the change is imposed on them.
– we are hard wired to think change is a threat, so our natural instinct is to push back
– managers and leaders need to ‘earn the right’ to lead the change by showing that they are capable of change in themselves. They can do that by being open to feedback and listening to others and leading by example.
– The ‘River’ method of change:
Reasons
Implications
Values
Expectations
Reinforce, recognise, reward
– The ‘Almond effect’ – how the amygdala guides the flight/fight response, and how it doesn’t understand the difference between a physical or psychological threat.
– When ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) are triggered it sets off the ‘Almond Effect’, and this has a significant impact on how we respond to change
– the importance of choosing your language before you communicate to change
– our body has not evolved for 21st century
– “Anger or resentment for another is like taking poison yourself and expecting another to die”
– Life Changing Question:
‘How can I get through this?
What do I need to let go of?
What are my first steps?’
– The importance of congruence, persistence and integrity.
– Health – there is a link between exercise and a healthy brain. Exercise regularly.
– Practise being change ready, and constantly challenge yourself to be curious, get variety in your life.
– how to have a successful speaking career you need to have multifaceted skills
know your craft – be a great speaker
have great ethics
be good at business
have congruency in your message
– Bucket list item: Walk the Kakoda trail to raise funds for the ‘black dog institute’

Recommended Reading:

Resources Mentioned in this show:
http://anneriches.com/
http://www.professionalspeakers.org.au/
http://www.cantoo.org.au/

Transcription:

KEVIN:

Episode No. 41 of the life-changing questions podcast.  Today we have on the show, Anne Riches.  Anne specializes in working with leaders to implement organizational change faster and more effectively with minimum disruption and maximum buy-in. Anne’s specialty is that she is a pioneer in exploring the fruitful fields of leadership, neuroscience and change and communicating insights and practical resources to bring out positive change in your business organization and learning communities. I’m so excited, let’s jump straight in.
If just one question could immediately transform the quality of your life or the results of your business, would you want to know what that question was?  Life and business strategist, Kevin Bees, interviews success masters to discover their life-changing questions.  Welcome to the Life-Changing questions podcast.

 

So Anne, welcome to the show today.

 

ANNE:

Thanks, Kevin.

 

KEVIN:

Anne, I’ve been very excited about having you on the call today.  I know having spent a heap of time with you through the professional speakers association and also spending some time on your website, you really are an expert in the space of change leadership.  I wonder if you could tell the people listening a little bit about your background and what does it mean to be an expert in change leadership?  Why do you spend your time doing with organizations?

 

ANNE:

Yeah, well, my background is probably one of always having had [0:01:19].  I had a, what they might call, a peripatetic career, started life as a lawyer, then traversed through a whole series of very interesting positions, where I was required to implement significant change.  And in about 1996, I thought, you know what, I really wonder whether my approach to change would work outside of the industries that I had already been working in.  So I left being an employee, set up the Riches group, set myself up a target, which was to work in a hundred different industries and the first sort of five years of my business, which I well and truly did and then over time my approach to change evolved through maturity and I [0:02:02] a whole lot of more information, particularly from the area of neuroscience and so supplemented what I did with that.

 

KEVIN:

Wow!  So you have worked with over a hundred different industries in [0:02:12] change and leadership.  You mentioned now about neuroscience.  May be help us understand a little bit more about how neuroscience comes into the ability to change individual, change in organisation?

 

ANNE:

Absolutely!  Everybody knows that despite the extraordinary amount of expense, time, effort that’s placed on introducing change into organisations and once upon a time, we used to think of change as a fairly episodic concept, you know, somebody would say we’re going to restructure today and then there would be a bit of a break or we are gonna merge, then there would be a bit of a break, but as we know there is no such thing as an organisation that isn’t in constant change these days.  So the whole idea of, we should have some expertise in being change latest by now, but yet it is to [0:02:58] many, many organisations struggle with change.  The reason why neuroscience is something that I turn to, to supplement the work that I do, is because I don’t think that failed change efforts are usually the results of what you might call the project or the rational side of the actual change event.  It’s always the human side, in my view.  And many people, until the world of neuroscience opened up for us, and I believe that that’s what I do.  I take the latest findings in neuroscience and translate them into fairly simple, applicable tools that we can use in organisations. What we’ve learned from neuroscience is more about the why the brain processes information, particularly around change and how, without question, our brain responds emotionally, before we respond logically, and it’s about dealing with that initial emotional response because if that is not supportive of change, and very often it’s not, but if it’s not supportive of the change then both for the leaders and for the people’s that they are leading, that initial response gets right in the way of what the organisation is trying to do.
KEVIN:

And I think you made a really valid point in there that the change is episodic, is continuous and particularly for us business owners and business leaders, there’s a new technology coming, there’s new competitors, always something that’s making us, you know, adapt and change and be responsive.  Now one of the keys in what you are suggesting is that the humans in the organisation, the people in the organisation really  hold the key as to whether that change is going to be successful or not.  So, tell us a little bit about if we do find some resistance in the people in our organisation to change, what are some of the things that we can do to manage that through and lead them through that change?

 

ANNE:

That’s a great question because it is recognized still as a major hurdle for organisations.  For me, we have to start with the proposition that people do change constantly.  I mean, some people say of their staff in organisation, ‘Oh, they’re just resistant to change.’  Well, that’s not true.  Human beings change all the time.  We do it every day.  I think most of us, for example, we change our clothes every day.  We choose different things to eat [0:05:05] everyday.  So, we do change constantly and our brains are plastic, that means that our brains are constantly learning new things, new ways of behaving, I mean how many of us learned an iPhone when it first came out?  We had no concept of what that was.  How many of us have learned to use the internet?  How many of us have learned to use the latest software?  How many of us [0:05:26] Google or whatever it does?  We do this.  Our brains are plastic and we can do that.  However the challenge is that with changes outside of work, we always feel we have a great deal of control and we have got a lot of choice.  Changes inside work are often felt like they’re imposed unless we are part of the process of doing it.  And so for me, that resistance is because we don’t engage with our people in the process to give them sense of control, participation, to get them to own the change rather than just have it imposed on them.

 

KEVIN:

So, if we engage them, get them to be part of the process then they can actually take a level of ownership for this, so they have some control and some ability to have an input on what’s happening and that will allow us to help reduce any resistance?

 

ANNE:

Yes.  That’s the sort of general proposition.  The other thing to realize is that leaders are often way ahead of their people in terms of the change initiative.  Why? They’ve been part of the development, the strategy.  They know where they’re going.  Whereas many of the people in the organisation, for them they many not even see it coming and they are under so much pressure.  It’s interesting.  I was talking to a client yesterday and they said to me, the problem actually, Anne, it is with resistance, but it’s also the people are just overwhelmed with the amount of change that they are asked to participate in and the amount of time and resource that it takes just to learn new things.  So, the key for me, Kevin, is  that leaders have to try and understand that we are wired in our brains to see any kind of change that simply imposed on us or comes out of the blue as a potential threat and if we have that threat then certain [0:07:15].  If that threat appears in our lives then we react in certain ways and one of them is to push back against the change.

 

KEVIN:

Ah!  So of course if someone feels threatened, like its gonna cause a  problem for them then, of course, that would be part of the resistance, but of course if they are included, they’re educated on what’s happening, why it’s happening then that in turn can reduce resistance.

 

ANNE:

That’s part of it.  There is also another part of it and this is the area that I focus on and that is that I see that the leader has to earn the right to ask other people to change.  I mean long gone, thank goodness, of the days of command and control, but many leaders still simply think that if they tell people to do things they should just get on and do it.  Well, we’re living in a different world now and we’re living with these people who are savvy and particularly with, for example Gen Y and Gen Z. They can pick up and they do just pick up and leave if they don’t want to be part of that culture.  So, the role model and the leadership that’s provided by our managers and the bosses is really critical.  And what I do is work with them to see whether in fact they’ve earned the right to ask other people to change.  How do they respond to change themselves?  What did they do?  Have they shown that they can create personal, lasting, positive change in themselves and help others to do that?  Many of us don’t know how to actually help others to change, let alone change ourselves, and that’s the area that I focus on.

 

KEVIN:

What would be some immediate tips that you might be able to give us as leaders to earn that right to be able to ask for change?

 

 

 

 

ANNE:

I think, one of the most important things is to be open to feedback yourself about how you’re going as a leader.  To be able to stand up and be vulnerable and listen to what people are saying about [0:09:09] safely to start with, the project could be improved.  And then over time, of course, how the individual can be a better leader.  I mean, I think that’s a big ask for a lot of people right now because [0:09:21] seem to be an extreme start, but some very practical day-to-day steps in how can I prove themselves worthy of being followed, if you like, is to live by example.  I mean, how many people can you think in your life who are just incongruent with their message. So, for example, they would say, we have to cut costs and yet you still see the business leaders in their flash cars in their private car parks flying business class and enjoying a nice credit card life.  It’s not that any of those things are inappropriate, it’s just about the congruency of that between what you’re asking others to do and what you’re doing yourself.  I mean, how many of us talk about excellence.  We want excellence from our organisations, from our teams, and yet when they go and get stuff, the leaders says, “Oh, look it doesn’t matter if you cut a few corners, just get the thing out.”  So, there’s that incongruence.  How many of us in our organisations talk about collaboration as being valuable and yet you don’t.  So, it’s about leading by example.  It’s about setting the tone about being very visible.  It’s about learning how to manage your emotions intelligently.  That doesn’t mean not to have them.  It means just being wise and keeping perspective.  It’s about constant communication.  It’s about listening to others.  It’s about reinforcing and recognizing and rewarding people for change.  They are some of the practical steps.  I actually talk about it as the rhythm of change.  As a leader you need to give people reasons, you need to talk about the implications, you need to show them how their values align with what’s being talked about, you need to declare about the expectations of the people who are changing and then that reinforce and recognize and reward them for coming on board.

 

KEVIN:

Love it!  What a great set of tips and advice.  The key thing I take away is, of course, be congruent.  If you’re gonna expect someone else in your organisation to change, live that yourself, believe that yourself.  Don’t expect something of them when you’re not gonna show up and live on it yourselves.  So it’s pretty fantastic.  Now Anne, in your work you also talk about a concept called ‘The Almond Effect’.  I wonder if you could tell us what are these and how it fits into the work that you do with the change leadership?

 

ANNE:

Absolutely.  ‘The Almond Effect’ is a phrase that I’ve coined to basically talk about our inappropriate responses to situations and its all driven by a part of our brain called the amygdala and the reason I call it ‘The Almond Effect’ is because amygdala is the Greek word for almonds and some people can’t say amygdala and so I thought I’ll try and make it easy for them.  And the amygdala is, we’ve got a pair of them.  They’re in our brains and basically most people know that part of the brain as being responsible for the fight-flight response.  And what people don’t do then is so how is the fight-flight response triggered.  And we think about the usual things, you know, someone’s coming out with you with a knife or you see a fire or there’s a car coming at you and your fight-flight response is triggered immediately so that you jump out of the way or you run like mad and get away from it, but the challenge with just thinking of it there is leaving behind something else which is really critical and that is that the limbic system, the amygdala doesn’t understand the difference between a physical threat and  a psychological threat.  Physical threats are the ones I just talked about.  Our brain knows how to get us to respond to keep us safe, but psychological threats, we don’t spend a lot of time on.  And those are the things that cause most resistance to change and in fact cause us most problems in our life.  ___I talk about we have ANTs in our lives.  Automatic Negative Thoughts.  And it’s when one of our ANTs is triggered that we experience the Almond Effect.  Let me give you an example.  For example, if your boss said to you, ‘Kevin, I don’t want to get you alarmed, but have you got five minutes?’  Tell me what your reaction is?

 

KEVIN:

I don’t have a boss [0:13:27] but like immediately, yes, the feeling of because he’s already said, I don’t want to get you alarmed, the image on my head is, I’m gonna be alarmed.

 

ANNE:

Absolutely.  And so in the immediate reaction, your emotional reaction not your logical reaction, but your immediate reaction is one of, ‘Oh, My God, what this is to me’ and actually sets of the fight-flight feeling.  If you think about it, you go, ‘Hey, I don’t have a boss so consequently that doesn’t mean anything to me at all’, but if that fight-flight is set off by an ANT, an automatic negative thought, which is based on patterns of history because you have probably seen or heard that said in the past to others even if not to yourself, then it sets off this resistance to change because you are fearful of it and so therefore you are not approaching your change openly and interestingly and enthusiastically.  It’s more about, ‘Hang on a second, how does this impact me?  What’s gonna happen?  What should I be fearful about?  Does this impact where I am going to be in my career?  Does this impact my salary?  Does this impact even where I’m gonna park?’  Basic things like that.  It’s about understanding that a brain’s response is and the Almond Effect in particular and ANTs have a significant effect on how we bring about change.  We are all full of memories which we have accumulated over a lifetime and we never even think about them, but for example, if somebody has had a bad experience of restructuring in the past then just the very statement of that word ‘restructure’ will set off all of those memories because their ANTs, they are automatic negative thoughts, which will set off the Almond Effect, which is a fight-flight response, which is probably quite inappropriate in the situation, but who knows, they won’t stop and find out.

 

KEVIN:

Of course, as a leader we probably won’t be very cautious with our choice of words then so if we say something like an example you’ve chosen, you’re around, I don’t want to alarm you, well that immediately sets off the ANTs because I’m feeling alarmed, what’s gonna come here, so we ought to be particularly cautious with the words we use.

 

ANNE:

Absolutely!  I mean language is so important, [0:15:33] choose your language.  Let me take another example.  If you are a manager who has to give a performance review of someone, how do you think the manager might be feeling the night before or even a few minutes before?

KEVIN:

Oh, the manager could also feel a little bit nervous about what’s happening?

 

ANNE:

Absolutely and let me assure you that many, if not most, do.  This is for many people not a good place to be, to be sitting in judgement on another and as a whole another podcast one day, we might talk about inappropriateness of many performance management systems out there, but because they are in that stage of anxiety, they are worrying about, concerned about how they’re gonna come across, what are they going to say, how they’re gonna deliver not so good news perhaps because they are in that state, which is the fight-flight response, even though that sounds dramatic, that’s actually what’s going on in the brain, remember the brain can’t tell the difference between a psychological threat and a physical threat.  It means that they have to work really, really hard on engaging the logical sense of the brain, the logical and rational thinking pre-frontal cortex in the brain.  If they are not aware of what’s actually happening to them and if they don’t know the strategies, some of the strategies that I teach around how to be aware of what’s happening, your emotions and your body is telling you long before your rational part of the brain is telling you that you are in a state of anxiety, they may not choose their words carefully and they may sit down and say, ‘Hey, I just want to talk about your performances, yeah?  How do you think you went?’  You know, they’ll have a strategy, they’ll have a system, they’ll have a processing place, but in fact they’ll be constantly thinking about their own responses instead of paying clear attention to what’s being said to them and they may, if they are in a fearful place, say things that they’ll later regret, which is what the Almond Effect is all about.

 

KEVIN:

Hmm….very interesting!  So we need to be cautious of our answer, automatic negative thoughts and where that leads us and I consider you recognize this, I mean, not just even in environment of change in an organization and this has an impact on people on a day-to-day basis.  They might even be as simple as, I know you have to drive on a new route in your car and some people that can cause the ANTs because they may actually start having this negative thought, that they don’t know this route, they might have an accident, and that can be a constant thing.  And to some extent then the amygdala, almost it’s put there to protect us, to take care of us, to look out for these things that might hurt us or damage us and but on the flip side of that, in this day and age, because we can’t distinguish between something that’s physical or psychological, it’s something that can actually be holding us back.

 

ANNE:

Absolutely!  You spot on.  I mean that’s what I think about it.  It’s like our bodies have not evolved yet for the 21st century.  We still have an appendix, which has no use whatsoever and we still have single toes, which one day will be webbed.  Our body evolves, our brains evolve at an incredibly slow pace and our world’s technology everything else is moving at 21st century world with a Neanderthal brain much of the time.

 

KEVIN:

[Laughs] Yeah, I’m sure people can recognize a few Neanderthal brains around them.

 

ANNE:

[Laughs]

 

KEVIN:

Clearly no one on this call have, of course!

 

ANNE:

No, no, no, no, we’re organized!

 

KEVIN:

We are the advanced PC’s of course [laughs] and what we’d really love to hear from you then, given all of your work in serving people and empowering people to change, we wonder about the questions.  The quality of the questions you ask yourself really impacts the quality of your life.  So I wonder what’s one question you’ve asked that’s had the biggest impact on your life or may be the life of the people that you serve?

 

ANNE:

I’ve thought about this because I think that this is a wonderful question and my response to it is that there is a phrase that goes around in my head whenever I’m faced with challenging situations and people will have seen [0:19:28].  It’s around saying something like, anger or resentment is like taking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.  In another words, if I am faced with a difficult situation, a challenging situation, I realize that I could [0:19:46] resentment, lethargy, resistance, all those sort of things, so and that won’t take me anywhere.  That’s stupid.  So, what I ask myself in challenging situations is, ‘How can I get through this?  What do I need to let go of?  What are the first steps that I need to take?’  So it’s a three-pronged approach.  ‘How can I get through this?  What do I need to let go of?  And what are the first steps I need to take?’  And that last bit is really important because it sets you on a journey as opposed to just stopping and thinking about it.

 

KEVIN:

That’s a really great set of questions.  So how can I get through this?  What do I need to let go of?  And what are my first steps?  Do you have an example of a time when you have used this set of questions to bring you from a difficult and challenging situation to get you to the positive outcome?

 

ANNE:

Absolutely.  Even in my recent history over the last couple of years, but this may sound benign to many people, but it was important to me.  And I had a property that I had devoted my life, my several years to renovating, making it beautiful, making it my home, where I thought I would live forever.  Then outside of my control and not even the usual ones like finances or relationships or anything else, but something completely [0:21:03] came in and as a result of that, I had to give up that property, the one that I loved.  Now for many people, that’s just a property transaction, but I had laboured for a long time lovingly and deeply and gone through amazing amount of complexity and angst to get to where we had got to that with that particular property.  And I was faced with the situation [0:21:29] well, you realize that’s the end, now you will never find another property that you want.  It was because I had always set myself an ambition of living by the sea and I had to chase that and now it was gone and so that’s when I applied these questions.  Okay, how am I gonna get through this?  I can’t change the situation.  I can’t do anything about it.  It is what it is. So how do I get through this?  What do I need to let go of?  And that was the emotional investment in what I had achieved and what are my first steps?  And my first steps were, of course, to set about finding somewhere else to live, but to actually do it as opposed to just hoping the whole thing would go away.  That sounds too benign and as I said, just ordinary example.  But everybody has got situations where others think ‘Oh, gosh, what a simple!  Why don’t they just get through it?’  But that’s the part of the challenge.  We can’t put ourselves into other people shoes.  It’s impossible.  We have to own and just not be afraid to say, ‘This is the thing that’s challenging me right now.’  It could be, a friend is dying.  It could be, someone’s living home.  It could be, my marriage is on the rock.  It could be, as in my case, I gave up my dream home that I had worked half a century for.  Whatever it is, it’s about how to get through it.

 

KEVIN:

Yes, okay.  Very powerful.  So how do you get through it?  And for you, what do you need to let go off and I guess in many situations it could be like, go off the attachments property, like go off the situation, but for you it was like, let go the emotion.

 

ANNE:

Absolutely!  It’s all about emotion and that’s the key to the work that I do.  Everything ends up rationally and logically at the end of the day, but the stuff that gets in the way of the emotions that we experience on the journey.

 

KEVIN:

Hmm.. really great self questions and just as a recap, in case you miss this then, how do I get through this, what is it that I need to let go off, and what are my first steps?  First steps, of course, are so key in anything.  I do recognise, very frequently when we embark on something new, it may seem big, it may seem overwhelming and one of the key things is to understand ‘Hey! what is the first step?  What may be the one small thing I can do to get this started and get this going?’  So, that in itself, if you are faced with doing something new, that in itself is a powerful question to ask very frequently.  Now Anne, along your journey to achieve what you have with the amount of organisations you helped, the number of industries and the people that you have helped, you clearly have some habits and rituals that allowed you to create this level of success in your life.  I wonder if you could tell us what are may be some of the top habits and rituals that you have that have allowed you to create the level of success that you have?

 

ANNE:

Well, firstly I try to live to be congruent with my message so that the whole idea about taking things one step at a time.  The listeners to the podcast might be interested in the way I describe it, in that is that if I gave you a piece of chocolate in the shape and size of a small elephant, do you think you could actually eat it?  And many people say, ‘Gosh, no, no!  I love chocolate, but that would be too big’, but I say, ‘If I tell you, you can take one small bite at a time and take as long as you like, do you think you could get at them?’  And they all say ‘Yes’.  So, it’s around being persistent and that’s one of my habits or rituals.  I am persistent and I [0:24:41] around that.  I say what I am going to do and I am persistent till I achieve what I have said I am going to do.  Another thing that I do to enable me to be able to go on that path is, I do look after myself, in terms of my health.  I am very careful to make sure I spend time on exercise, both for my physical body and for my brain; there is an incredible link between exercise and a healthy brain and I watch what I eat.  I am careful about that.  I want my brain to work.  So, any body benefits that come as a result of exercise and diet, for me are sidelining this.  It’s about having healthy brain. And the third thing that I do is, I practise being change ready and adaptable myself.  I don’t always get it right, nobody can, not with amygdala’s, almonds playing around, but I practise being change ready all the time and the way I suggest that other people might think about doing it, it’s the way I do it and it might be helpful for others is, I constantly challenge myself to do things differently.  I constantly challenge myself to be curious.  So, even this morning when I went for my walk, I saw a pathway that I hadn’t been down before.  I went down that.  When I am going to the train, I try to take a different way every single time.  I try to see movies that are different to the usual genre that I would preferably watch.  I try to book read widely different books.  So, for me those rituals that I have, it’s around integrity and persistence; it’s around looking after my body so that my brain is in good nick and it’s about practising being change ready.

 

KEVIN:

Huh!  Very cool.  Being change ready and being adaptable.  So important.  And one of the other things I wanted to ask you about and given your longevity of career and the things you have achieved, I know you’ve been awarded by the Professional Speakers Association of Australia.  You’ve been awarded the Nevin award.  Now for many of our listeners on the podcast today, they won’t understand what that means, but it’s one of the highest awards that can be given to a speaker.  It’s the peers of the organisation recognising, Anne has been one of the leading speakers globally. So, Anne, what I’d love to ask of you is, any one listening who has an aspiration to grow as a professional speaker or come into this [0:26:58] what would be some top tips that you could give to them to have a successful speaking career?

 

ANNE:

Can I just clarify for you that the Nevin is not something that you ever set out to win.  It’s something, as you quite rightly say is, simply awarded to you by your peers and it ___ people away when you get it.  And in the Professional Speakers Association, it’s awarded to you because you, they say, have carried out your role as a professional speaker with excellence, but it’s also about being of service to the association and to the community at large.  So, it is an extraordinary honour and one, I feel very humble to have received.  To be a professional speaker [0:27:41] it’s around just being very clear about what you’re going after and to understand that it’s a very multifaceted business.  It’s not simply about having great skills on stage or in a room or at a board table or wherever it is that you do your work.  It’s so much more.  It’s around having great business goals.  It’s around having great ethics, which I think is something that we really have to watch out for in our profession, currently.  It’s also just about being of service.  It’s that congruency thing.  It’s around, if you stand up and say something from a stage which you expect other people to listen to and hope to follow, you have to be congruent with that message, both on and off the stage and that’s something that I feel very strongly about.

 

KEVIN:

So, make sure you have the great business skills, the great ethics, be of service and be congruent.  And I have one other question for you.  One of our guests on the show was Travis, who is the world’s number one bucket list expert and he helps people design their life and create a bucket list.  Which is one thing in your life that you would still like to achieve?  One thing that is outstanding on your bucket list. What would that be?
ANNE:

Well, that’s a great question too.  And it’s interesting because my life is full of stretch, that’s how I describe it.  I am constantly trying to stretch myself and the one  thing I have done a lot of stuff to do that, I’ve raised a lot of money for charities by doing crazy ocean swims and I love doing all of that, but the one thing I haven’t done is walk the Cockatoo track.  And I’m gonna do that.  And that’s on my bucket list.  This time I’m gonna do that to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute, which is the organisation I do a lot of propaganda work for in the area of mental health.  So that’s the challenge that I have set myself, Kevin.

 

KEVIN:

Love that challenge!  What a fantastic challenge!  Tell us more, if you will, around the swimming you’ve done for charity.

 

ANNE:

I have raised a bit of money for an organisation called [0:29:40] which then funds [0:29:43]  research and so, yeah I have done probably about 17 or 18 ocean swims to do that which vary in length from about, well, one and a half kilometres to three and you can’t choose your day, you can’t choose the conditions out there in the water, you just have to get in there and in my case, because I am not the fastest kid of the block, I usually get swum over by all those young kids who think that there’s a little old lady, we’ll have a go at her, but, yes, it’s just been an absolute blast and some, I guess are the most fun swims [0:30:15] for those people who know Sydney from Palm Beach to Whale Beach.  They could be pretty challenging.

 

KEVIN:

Yes and certainly I recognise that being a smaller swimmer myself, never strong, so I am happy to be at the back of the pack

 

ANNE:

[Laughs]

 

KEVIN:

[0:30:28] one says, so it’s not a problem from that point of view.  And as well as regarding books, I know you have published at least two books, Anne.  So, I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about your books?

 

ANNE:

Yeah, the stuff I’ve written is all about the Almond Effect and the neuroscience of change and so on.  And I have written some books in my previous life on previous subjects, but I don’t particularly wanna promote anything right now because I am actually embarking on change and I am rewriting everything that I have written in this area to reflect the current state of, well, as of this moment, neuroscience and how to apply change.  That’s the challenge with using something like neuroscience as a backbone to what you talk about; it’s changing so quickly and so rapidly that you have to be absolutely up-to-date.  So what I would love if people are interested in my work, then I would love them to just get in touch with me through my website, sign on to my newsletter, which you can do there and then they will have the first opportunity to get the new revised, updated [0:31:32] editions of my work in this field.

 

KEVIN:

Check out the page notes on this podcast episode on kevinbees.com/podcast and all of the links will be there for Anne’s website which is anneriches.com.  Anne, in which case, if you are not going to share much details around your books, if you are re-writing them, what we would love to hear from you is, what one book that you would recommend for our readers to get hold off and read?

 

ANNE:

So, can I divide that into two areas?  One is around the volunteer [0:32:03] work that I do.  As I said I’m particularly interested in mental illness and [0:32:09] work place as well as just in everybody’s lives and one of the consequences of badly implemented change, is a massive increase in anxiety and perhaps even depression in the workplace, so I feel very strongly about that.  There is a book that had a profound impact on me as I worked with people with depression, anxiety or bipolar, and I’m trying very hard to work in the field of suicide prevention.  So the book by Jayne Newling called ‘Missing Christopher’ and I would urge anyone who has interest in this field of suicide prevention and messages to be able to send to ourselves, to our friends, to others about the impact of suicide on the people who are left behind, I would urge everyone to read that.  In terms of outside of the field, what is a book that has had a major impact on me?  Well, my response to that is, lots and no one in particular.  I read so widely and so extensively.  I read biographies and fiction and newspapers and science books and magazines.  So for me, it’s not about having one book that has profoundly impacted on me.  For me it’s about reading widely and extensively and in different fields so that I can be change ready and earn the right to be able to talk about that with others.

 

KEVIN:

Fantastic!  So have that diversity and of course particularly have a read of Jayne Newling and ‘Missing Christopher’, it will be in the page notes.  Anne, I can’t thank you enough for your time today.  You have been absolutely fantastic.  There have been some amazing insights that you shared with us.  So thank you so much for being on the life-changing questions podcast.

 

ANNE:

You are very welcome.  It has been a pleasure speaking with you.

 

Thanks so much for listening to the life-changing questions podcast with your host, Kevin Bees.  We’ll catch you next time.

 

Hey, you are on bonus time right now on the life-changing questions podcast and I’ve got three bonuses that I would like to share with you and I call them the three S’s.  The first ‘S’ is for Show Notes; don’t forget you can get all of the details of the show including the names of the books that were mentioned, the key people that were mentioned on kevinbees.com.  The second ‘S’ is Subscribe.  Make sure you subscribe to the show.  We’re going to be releasing a new episode every single week and our guests are just getting better and better. And I’ve got the third ‘S’, Share it; your friends, family, colleagues, loved ones are really gonna appreciate it when you share such great content with them.  That’s it from me and make sure you are asking life-changing questions this week.

 

 

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