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CFD 434 – The Art Of Connection

Michael J. Gelb is the founder and president of The High Performance Learning Center, a firm specializing in consulting and training for organizations interested in developing more innovative cultures. He is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of, “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day.”  

Gelb is the world’s leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development. He is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership.

Gelb leads seminars for organizations such as DuPont, Genentech, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, Raytheon and YPO. He brings more than 35 years of experience as a professional speaker, seminar leader and organizational consultant to his diverse, international clientele.   

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Michael Gelb?

Michael was so energetic as a kid that he got kicked out of nursery school. He has a core of curiosity that lead him to create his own business geared toward serving people in ways that are aligned with things that he liked to do.

The core aspect of Michael’s success and fulfillment thus far is due to the connections and relationships he’s developed over the course of his career.

Communication skills are not getting better, they are actually getting worse. Technology is great for some things but it’s eroding the way we connect with each other as humans.

  • What is your definition of connection?

We are networked, but not connected. We have access to information, but not to empathy. Sometimes an information onslaught makes it harder to connect to ourselves, let alone each other.

Technology is addictive. It’s taking your mind away, instead of your organs in the way cigarettes do. Have a digital sunset each day, and take a day off entirely every once in awhile.

  • What are the seven different skillsets that have been broken by technology?

The one factor that is the greatest predictor of health, wealth, and longevity is connection.

Emotions are contagious, be careful what you catch and you spread. Narcissism ends up being very expensive in business, the new model is making the world a better place and making people happy consistently. Treat people with respect, and you will engage and motivate the people you work with and work for.

  • How do introverts create new relationships?

Whatever your personality type is, it’s important to do the opposite of whatever your natural inclination is. Growth comes from getting out of your comfort zone.

Looking at the world from a different perspective is a core skill of leadership.

  • What does that kind of discipline look like in practice?

If you’re introverted, go up to five people you don’t know in a room and introduce yourself. What starts out as anxiety turns into exhilaration when you realize you are doing something you’ve never done before.

Becoming a successful and wiser human being includes pushing your boundaries, especially with something that has a business application.

Reference: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, Michael Gelb

  • Michael’s Takeaway

Write down your life purpose. Write down the major areas of your life and map it out, then write down the most important goal in each area of your mind map. Put your goals into the context of what drives you, when you have a higher purpose you liberate way more energy to make it happen.


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