It’s important to ask questions but how do you know when you’ve asked too many? Michael Bungay Stanier’s answer is you can never ask too many questions when you have a genuine intent of knowing instead of just trying to prove a point. On the flip side, questions can come as drive-by interrogations which sometimes make the person give advice as an answer. Michael believes that the moment you start to give advice is the moment you start controlling the conversation. Learn how you can stay curious longer to ask the right questions and generate sound advice.
We’ve got a special show because we’ve got Michael Bungay Stanier. Michael is the most interesting guy. He is one of the Wall Street Journal bestselling author and he is a number three Global Guru in Coaching in the world. He has a mind that is so fascinating to me, as a Road Scholar.
Listen to the podcast here:
Stay Curious Longer with Michael Bungay Stanier
I am with Michael Bungay Stanier, who is the Founder of Box of Crayons, a company best known for teaching ten-minute coaching, so that busy managers can build strong teams and get better results. He has written multiple books, including the Wall Street Journal Best Seller, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever. It’s been praised as one of the few business books that makes people laugh out loud. He was the first Canadian Coach of the Year, is a Road Scholar, and was recently recognized as the number three Global Guru in Coaching. Welcome, Michael.
I’m happy to be here.
You are welcome. I want to know what the balloon incident is.
I wrote a literature that people can read out when they introduce me in front of radio shows or keynotes, whatever. I just had this moment where almost every time I heard somebody else’s introduction, I’m both being bored and intimidated by their introductions. So often it’s a long list of here’s the medal I won, here’s the mountain I climb and here’s why I’m basically amazing. In the introduction that we send people, “Michael, he’s got a few badges he can talk about, but some of the more interesting things are the scars and the stumbles and the message.” That makes us all human. We’re all stumbling around.
The high school regulation piece is my last day of high school, the last day for the Head Master who’s been there 30 years. The previous class, the year beforehand pretty much trashed the school on their last day in high school. They put glue in the locks, they brought in a flock of sheep into one of the main quadrangle to eat the grass. It’s like nothing here to make my last day go badly, so we were banned from doing anything. That didn’t sit right with me. I’m not up for just property destruction. I’m like, what can we do that will be fun and light and non-destructive? We filled our chapel with helium balloons. It’s very, very safe and very undramatic but there’s a bit of an over response by the school so myself and my co-conspirers were banned from graduating.
You were also sued by one of your Law school lecturers for defamation. Your first published piece of writing was a romance short story called The Mail Delivery. Is that last one true?
That’s absolutely true. I was on a long flight back from England. I was living at the time in Australia. I ran out of things to read. This pre-electronic gadget days. I found this women’s magazine. I was reading through it, going, “This is why I don’t read women’s magazine that often.” I read this short story in this magazine, I was like, “I could do better than that.” I sat down had to go writing the story, sent it in. I didn’t hear anything back. Then one day, I got this check and this copy of this story had been published in the magazine. I was like, “I was a successfully published author.”
How did you defame your law school lecturer?
It was a lecture on evidence. The example that he was using to teach a particular point of law was actually women being right. It was entirely gratuitous but it didn’t need to be that. We were just like, “Could you change the actual example so that it wouldn’t be something that was upsetting for people?” That escalated into being sued for defamation and making the Times, newspaper in England. It was a little tempest in the teacup as they say.
I loved all the stuff you sent me as far as background. I like the book by David Allen, Getting Things Done. There was a nice quote in there saying, “If I had to pick a person to have dinner with, when I need to prodded and challenged and inspired to think about things that I’m really committed to think about for myself and what I’m doing, I’d pick Michael. He has the ability to shake our tree and make us more conscious and responsible about what we know, but aren’t willing to admit we know yet.” That’s quite a compliment.
He wrote that when I was even less-learned than I am now. Now that you could say that I’m probably a mind of a B-list celebrity in some small circles. Then, I was like nobody. He and I connected. He wrote a nice blog for this first book I wrote. It was a very generous act from him.
I’m fascinated by your work, because you focus on questions. I’m writing a book about curiosity, so we have a lot to talk about.
The essence of The Coaching Habit book is trying to make coaching practical and usable for normal and everyday people. There’s a lot of talk about coaching and not everybody knows what it means because it can mean different things to different people. The way we have ended up trying to define being more coach-like, which is the goal that we want for people, is, “Can you stay curious a little bit longer? Can you rush to action and advice giving just a little bit more slowly?” We’ve come to the insight that most people are advice-giving maniacs. They don’t even know what the problem is and they still think they know what the answer is. Helping people build that curiosity is a key part of it, and that’s fantastic that you were writing about that as well.
I’m fascinated by what makes people motivated to do things while some other people are happy to watch that faucet drip. I would like to know how you get people up on their feet to do more. A lot of people get turned away by different things. I love that you’re into asking questions. I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence, and I’ve heard you mention Daniel Goleman and his work. I love that you said, “To ask questions is important, but you can’t just ask questions if you do nothing but ask questions.” It’s important to ask questions, but how do you know if you’re asking too many?
You tend to know because the other person gets annoyed with you. You get a very direct feedback, not just if you’re asking too many questions, but maybe if you’ve asked a question that hasn’t landed or it hasn’t hit the spot. What’s nice about it is if you asked a question that doesn’t quite work, what tends to happen is the person looks at you and is kind of, “I’m confused. I don’t know what you’re saying. What’s that about?” You get a chance to do a redo. It’s not a big price that gets paid. You go, “That wasn’t a good question.
Let me ask you another question instead.” There can be a time when you asked too many questions or maybe you asked him in a way that doesn’t quite land. Sometimes questions can feel a little bit like a drive-by interrogation. “Why did you do that? What else did you do? Why you even think that was a good idea?” If you show up with an attitude of genuine curiosity, like you’re not asking the questions to prove a point or have an agenda, you’re interested to know what they have to say.
The second question, which we talk about it in the book, is the “And, what else?” question, which is a way of enhancing any other question that you ask. Typically, the first time you ask a question and they give you an answer, that’s not their only answer. That’s not even their best answer. Ask your question, ask, “And what else?” Then ask, “And what else?” again. Maybe ask, “Is there anything else?” Showing up and having a conversation should make the conversation become quite deep and more powerful and more empowering with much greater consistency. I’m sure it’s true that there are occasions where people may have asked too many questions, but the greatest challenge we’re up against in terms of enhancing the quality of the conversations that people want to have is too much advice-giving. Slow down the advice and practice building up the curiosity muscle will be beneficial for everybody.
I’ve had people tell me that people have not only given them advice, but they start with, “Let me tell you what your problem is.”
There’s a couple of things going on. One is that people are genuinely interested in trying to help, so it’s coming from a genuine good place, which can be helpful here. Secondly, there is something about when you’re in a place of giving advice rather than asking questions and staying curious. It is a place of maintaining control over the conversation. When you’re the person who’s the advice giver, it means that you’re the smarter person. You’re the person who doesn’t need help, but you’re the person who can give help. You’re the person who knows how this conversation is going and you’re in control of the conversation. Even if your advice isn’t that good, that still feels pretty good for you to save the ego stroking.
When you ask questions, it’s a less comfortable place. Like, “Was that a good question? Will they know how to answer that question? What if they answer a crazy answer I don’t even understand?” Now you’re giving them control of the conversation. We talk about empowerment a lot. It is one of the elements of emotional intelligence. Often when we talk empowerment, we don’t always understand that empowerment is often giving up some of our power so that somebody else may take that power. Empowerment sounds great, but giving up power is trickier. That’s part of the challenge around how to help people stay curious longer.
You do many things that helped people stay curious. Coaching is hard to teach, and it’s interesting that you say, “We’re all a coach.”It’s hard to define coaching, because there’s a million definitions of it. The same thing with emotional intelligence. There’s a million definitions of it. How do you define it?
How do I define coaching? There’s a process that you can use to define it and a behavior that defines what coaching looks like. There are many similar but different definitions of what coaching is. For me, it’s simply a three-part virtuous circle. You generate insight. You typically generate insight by asking a good question. People have insight about themselves and/or about the situation at hand. Insight leads to behavior change. What that means is you do something differently as a result of that insight. Simpler insight leads to action, and then action leads to impact. It’s something that happens as a result of you doing things differently.
Hopefully, that’s a positive impact, but not always. Impact then leads to and leads back to new insight. “What did I learn? What happened? What would I do differently next time or what do I do the same next time?”Then it builds on each other. Insight leads to action, leads to impact, leads back to insight. That’s the cycle of coaching. Lots of people do not want to be a coach. They’re like, “I’m just a normal person. I just want to have a good life,” but to help everybody be more coach-like can be powerful. That’s amore coach-like definition we have, “Can you stay curious a little bit longer? Can you rush to action and advice-giving a little bit more slowly?”
Being able to coach people is getting them out of bad habits. I was sharing one of the things you said with my husband because he’s a plastic surgeon. I loved how you found out what it meant if you do something for 21 days, it will become a habit.
Trying to change your habits are your building blocks of behavior change. At least 50% of your waking activity is habitual. You don’t think about it; you just react to the stimulus. It’s an amazing number to me, that amount of your awake time, you’re just in habit mode. You are not thinking about it. If you want to deliberately and mindfully change the way that you work, not just about coaching, but about anything in your life, you want to understand how habits work. There’s a lot of stuff in the world about habit changes, but a lot of it’s not very good.
One of the most ubiquitous myths about building habits is if you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit. It turns out that’s entirely wrong. The origin of it comes from a plastic surgeon who operated on people’s noses, giving them a nose job. He found that after about three weeks, in other words, 21 days, people basically got used to the look of their new nose. Somehow, that insight corrupted into, “If you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit.”
The actual science depends on who you are. It depends on what the habit is. It depends on how many times you tried to do this before in terms of how long it takes for you to embed a habit. They say, on average, it’s somewhere between 60 and 68 days for you to build a new habit. The first chapter of The Coaching Habit is about the art and the science of building a new habit. Regardless of how you stand on coaching and being more coach-like, having the insight about building new habits can be an extremely powerful tool to build a better life.
You list a lot of great books to help people with habits. Who are your favorite authors? What books stand out in your mind that have influenced you?
I read a lot. My background is literature, so I read a lot of fiction but I read a lot of nonfiction as well. I’m a mid-level B-list celebrity in the world of business books, so I get sent books over time as well. Not many books stay on my shelves. If I look through a book or read a book and I’m like, “It’s good, but it’s not that good,” I will pass it on, let it go, and give it away. The ones that stay on my shelves are precious to me. I’ll give you three books that I like. Seth Godin, who people may know, is a great marketing writer, writes blogs, and he launched a new podcast. He’s got a number of books out. I like the Purple Cow, which is all about why it’s important to be different. The book I’m mentioning in this situation, which is probably more invested around emotional intelligence, is The Dip. How do you keep on going when you want to give up?
The second book I would mention is by Adam Grant. He’s written a number of books. I like his first one called Give and Take. The insight here is that “The path to success depends on the choices you make about giving and taking.”There are three types of people in this world: the givers, the takers, and the reciprocal people, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back.” Who succeeds? What type of person succeeds? They found that the people who succeeded least were the givers. The people who gave thoughtlessly struggled and have self-sacrificed.
They are the people who ended up like rescuers or feeling depleted as a result of things. Who was the most successful? It turns out it was the givers, but a different type of giver. It was a giver who gives generously, gives without expectation, but doesn’t give it away that could have crossed boundaries and allows them to look after themselves. Understanding what type of giver you are and how you like to show up in the world is a powerful tool for showing up, not just in transactions, but with all the important relationships.
The other book is by a colleague of mine, a Canadian guy, Roger Martin. He used to be the Dean of the Toronto University MBA School. He wrote a book with A.G. Lafley, who was the CEO of Procter and Gamble, called Playing to Win. He says, “Five good questions can help you be much more strategic about how you show up in this world.”It’s one of the best books written on strategic thinking. You got a book about resilience, a book about relationships, and a book about strategy.
I’ve been reading a lot trying to find a lot more information on curiosity. What I found interesting was that it’s hard to find a good way to measure it. Some of the researchers have simplistic tools. You are curious if you read so much. What do you think made you become such a curious person?
I suspect part of it is wiring. You have a way that your brain works that allows you to show up in the world in a certain way. I have some of that for sure. I do think that there’s a positive feedback loop, which is being rewarded and encouraged from being creative and taking risks. The more you do it and the more you get to succeed with it, the more you want to do it. I got a little bit lucky that my very first job was in the world of innovation and creativity.
It was helping organizations invent new products and new services. My first job, as many first jobs, didn’t beat the creativity out of me so that I could become a small cog in a massive machine of capitalism, but it encouraged me to be different, to be curious, and to ask questions. I had the good luck of that first job embedding in me that this is something that I like, I’m good at, that I get rewarded for, and that also helped me stay creative.
It’s interesting how when you’re younger you have that, and it gets diminished sometimes by some of the factors around us. It sounds like you had good influences around you. How do you develop it? Other people who has been beaten down, how do you get them to want to ask questions or to be more of an explorer?
It’s hard to provide a generic answer to that because it’s so different for different people. In principle, if you’re thinking about behavior change, you’re thinking one, start small. Don’t go, “That’s it. I’m going to change it all. I’m going to become a flamboyant artists living in the Left Bank of Paris and painting pictures and doing interpretive dance.” That’s probably not going to work for most people. What’s the small creative act that you could do? Secondly, there’s something about being conscious of the language that you’re using. For some people, creativity is an aspirational characteristic. There are some people in this world who go, “I’m not aspiring for creativity. I’m aspiring to put food on the table.”
Sometimes these are the higher level of characteristics. It’s like happiness. I see you saying, “It’s all about the pursuit of happiness.” This idea that it’s in the pursuit of happiness that you find happiness and a meaningful life. Perhaps it’s the same with creativity purposes. Let’s not make creativity as an outcome, because not everybody resonates that as a useful, interesting thing, but what’s the outcome that allows people to be creative on the way. You subtly develop that capacity for creativity in pursuit of something else that feels a more immediate, valuable goal.
I know you deal with engagement, and a lot of the problems I see with engagement is that a lot of people don’t get enough feedback. Don’t you think that the curiosity of how and what we’re doing and how what we do relate to the overall goals of the company? You talk about the four factors that drive engagement. Explain that. I’d like to hear about that.
What I stand for is, “How do you change your behavior to live a better life? How do you build your emotional intelligence muscles to have a better life?”Understanding this habit piece is what allows you to change your behavior and steps towards the person you want to be when you grow up. Knowing that we have a strong part of our wiring that loves to default to the previous way of working, you could leave habit building down to chance, you go, “I hope this works. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll check in with myself in a little bit.” Or you could go, “Can we be more deliberate and focused about this?”I would encourage people to check out ZenHabits.net by a friend of mine named Leo Babauta. It’s a wonderful website. He has spent years reflecting on practical habit building.
Here are my tips. The first is to understand the new habit formula. That’s what we talk about in the pieces of the book, which is to define the habit you want to do so that it takes a minute or less to start doing. I’m not going to say, “I want to go for a run every morning.” I’m going to say, “I’m going to put on my running shoes and step out the door every morning,” and shrinking the habit down from that big aspirational piece to the more practical micro habits or the first steps. That can make all the difference.
The second thing to do is to make a connection about why do you want to change this behavior. Until you’ve got a motivation that goes beyond your own selfishness, it’s trickier to build behavior. There’s great research on women negotiating salaries. Typically, women under-negotiate compared to men when they’re negotiating on their own behalf. As soon as you frame this to the woman about you are negotiating on behalf of your family and their wealth and their possibilities, then they negotiate at the same level as men. Understanding that external, “Here’s why I’m doing this,” can make a real difference.
The third thing is understanding that habits are built up by small actions day-on-day. More than 21 days, probably closer to 60 days, but the more you do it and the more you repeat it, the more likely it is to embed. It’s not enough to do it once. It’s not enough to write about it. It’s not enough to say it out loud. It’s through practice that literally your brain changes shape because you make new neural connections and then they get wrapped in. The more you do it, the stronger that connection happens. The saying in neuroscience is, “What fires together, wires together.” You’re getting your brain firing, and then there’s the pathways wiring together so that they become a habit for you.
You used the example of flossing teeth, explain that.
This is like the 60 seconds or less, keep it short and sweet piece based on BJ Fogg’s work. The previous example I gave you was if you’re going to want to go for a run, put your shoes on and step outdoors. Equivalent to flossing is don’t commit to flossing. We’ve all been to the dental hygienist where she goes, “How did the flossing go?” Then you go, “It’s not going very well.” Then she goes, “Thanks for being here. Could you start flossing?” You go, “I’ll start flossing,” and then nobody starts flossing. BJ Fogg’s recommendation is don’t commit to flossing, do commit to flossing just one tooth. If you floss one tooth, what’s that going to take you? Five seconds, ten seconds maybe. Once you’re there, you’re like, well, “I flossed one tooth, why don’t I floss the rest of them now, just because why not?” The whole idea of breaking your habits down to a single short step, 60 seconds or less, can make a difference.
You had a lot of interesting people. You’ve brought up BJ Fogg. I noticed in your Google Talk, you talked about Milton Glaser and his design of logo and different things that have caught your attention. I’m fascinated by who catches your attention. What was the appeal of Milton Glaser?
His motto was actually an inspiration for an earlier book of mine called Do More Great Work. A friend of mine had sent me a photocopy from one of the pages of his book, and I just filed it away. Three years later, I was clearing out my files and I came across this again. It was the catalyst that have helped me suddenly make a model after stuff that I’ve been wrestling with. The motto that I talk about, which is inspired by Milton Glaser in part, says, “Everything you do falls into one of three different buckets: bad work, good work or great work.”
Bad work is mind-sucking, brain-sucking, time-wasting stuff. Good work is like your job description. In some ways we all have job descriptions and good work is the everyday get-it-done stuff. Great work is the work that has more impact and the work that has more meaning. The bigger picture that we’re going for at the Box of Crayons, my company, is how do we help people in organizations do more great work and a little less of all the other stuff.
You took some essays from thought leaders about great work and you created End Malaria. Is that still going? Can you talk about that?
In 2011, Seth Godin launched a company called The Domino Project, which was a publishing company. That year, he published ten books in partnership directly with Amazon. I was one of the authors that he decided to publish. This book, End Malaria, is a collection of people writing about great work. Because we publish directly through Amazon, we were able to donate 100% of all the money raised from the book, not just the profit, but all the money, because everybody gave their time freely. All that money went to Malaria No More. We ended up raising about $400,000 for Malaria No More. Because of that fundraising piece, it was a philanthropic project, it’s sold for about $20. The idea was you buy a book and you buy two mosquito nets for a family in need.
You’ve done a lot of things with the Great Work umbrella. You have that virtual conference, is that still going on? The Great Work MBA?
We had a great virtual conference and a lot of interesting speaking people like Brené Brown and Roger Martin. We had 10,000 people sign up and go through it. There’s people for half an hour or so teaching their best tactics for helping people do more great work.
I’m curious where the Box of Crayons name came from. Where did you get that from?
I just arrived in Toronto in 2001. I didn’t know anybody and I just started my own company. I was desperate to get to know people, make connections, and network. I decided to give a lecture at my local coach chapter around how to build great branding. It turns out my company name at the time failed all three of my rules that I came up with or what makes for what makes a good brand. I then went into deep brainstorm mode and went through a lot of bad names and came up with Box of Crayons. I’m like, “That’s a really good name.” That was the origin of that.
What were the bad names?
I’m not even sure if I remember. It’s fifteen or sixteen years ago now. All I remember is I think it’s a good name and I showed it to some of my friends and they’re like, “That’s a terrible name. You shouldn’t even go with that.”
You went to Oxford and you’re from Australia originally. How did you get to be a Road Scholar?
The characteristics they look for a Road Scholar is a combination of things. You need to be academically pretty good. You don’t have to be at very top of your class, but you have to be in the top percent. You need to have a sport that you play, and they’re pretty broad around what that can mean. For instance, there’s a bunch of people who get elected as scholars who are Olympic or pre-Olympic or post-Olympic athletes. Sometimes the standards are really high. I’m not one of those people, but I played soccer for many years. They also look for a contribution to community as well.
How do you make the world a better place? The motto or the vision to have for the Road Scholarship is, “Fighting the world’s Fight.”There’s this sense of how you show up and make the world a better place from having had the privilege of being a Road Scholar. It’s an arduous process, lots of interviews and lots of application form. There were courses, all the work you put into it leading up to the stuff that you’ve done, and then you just have to hope that you get a little bit of luck and that you happen to be the type of person that the committee is looking for that year.
What is the most useful or valuable for you from this conversation?
In The Coaching Habit book, we have seven questions. The seventh of the seven questions is called the learning question. The insight behind that book is, “What is the most useful and most valuable here for you?” In your role in life as a manager or leader or parent or human being, one of the most powerful things you can do is to be a teacher. To be a teacher, you have to know how people learn. People don’t learn when you tell them stuff. People learn when they have a moment to reflect on what happened. The real power of that question is to be directed to the audience. If you’re going to engage with me, it’s going to make this conversation that much more powerful and that much more valuable because you’re making your brain extract and identify and label the bits that were most useful and most valuable for you.
Do you teach now other than your coaching?
I do some teaching. Box of Crayons is a training company, and we train managers all over the world all these practical coaching skills. We have a faculty of wonderful facilitators who deliver most of those programs, but I still come out occasionally, speaking to bigger conferences or particular types of groups and I will teach to them.
What’s next for you?
I’m always thinking about what the next book will be. I don’t have a direct idea yet, but ideas are starting to bubble up from wherever ideas come from. Because The Coaching Habit book has been successful, it sold about 400,000 copies in the first two years, that’s a direct impact on our business. We’ve been growing as a company. As the CEO of Box of Crayons, a big part of what I’m trying to do is make sure we grow the company in a way that is successful, ethical, and not overwhelming. That’s a big part of what I’m up to right now. It’s making sure that we grow in a way that is as fast as possible, but not at too high a price.
Did you ever think that this is where you were headed when you were in college? Did you want to own your own company or start your own company?
I had no idea. In college I wasn’t entirely sure what I want to do when I grow up. Inspiration is when your past suddenly make sense. If you look back from where I’ve been, there’s clues, but you only see them in retrospect.
What was your degree?
I have three degrees. I have a BA in Literature. I have a Law degree, and my Masters of Philosophy. That’s the degree I got from Oxford, and that’s just a fancy title for master’s degree. I have a master’s degree in Literature from Oxford.
I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. Thank you so much for being on this show. I would love for you to share how people could find your company and your books.
The best place to go is TheCoachingHabit.com. People can download the first three or four chapters. If you want to pick up the first bit of the book, you’re welcome to do that. If you’re interested in our programs, which we bring into organizations, BoxOfCrayons.com is there. If you want to connect with me, I have a website, MichaelBungayStanier.com. There’s a good e-book on courage that people can pick up there. Those are the three best places.
This has been a lot of fun. Thank you so much, Michael.
There were a few books that I had seen Michael bring up in a few of his other interviews. I wanted to bring them up because they are really important books. He had mentioned that he like Charles Duhigg who wrote The Power of Habit. Dan Coyle wrote Talent Code. There’s a Daniel Goleman article that he wrote for the Harvard Business Review around the year 2000 about the Six Different Types of Leaders. A lot of the things that I saw that he mentioned in some other interviews, I want to make sure I brought up because they can all be really helpful to wrap your mind around some of the stuff that Michael does. We got a little bit into my book about curiosity. I want to just touch on that a little bit. I would love to hear from you if you have a great quote about curiosity. There are some really good ones out there. I have seen a million of them from Albert Einstein, “Curiosity and creativity are intelligence having fun,” is just one of the many.
Some are necessarily obvious that they’re about curiosity like George Carlin said, “Don’t just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read.” I love Carl Sagan said “But there’s some comfort in the thought that we will never know everything. It would be a very dull universe for any intelligent being where everything of importance to be known. ” There are great minds out there and a lot o them a lot of them were very curious. I’m fascinated in what makes people curious.
Hunter S. Thompson said, “Weird behavior is natural in smart children, like curiosity is to a kitten.” I’d like to see more people become more curious as we were as children. I think if you have some interesting tidbits of information or quotes that you’d like to share with me, please go to my website DrDianeHamilton.com and you can contact me there. If you missed any of the past shows, you can go to DrDianeHamilton.com and at the top, you could go to radio to listen.
Thank you again, Michael and I appreciate everybody joining us for this episode of Take The Lead Radio.
About Michael Bungay Stanier
Michael Bungay Stanier is the founder of Box of Crayons, a company best known for teaching 10-minute coaching so that busy managers can build stronger teams and get better results. Michael has written multiple books, including the Wall Street Journal best-seller The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, & Change the Way You Lead Forever. It has been praised as one of the few business books that actually makes people laugh out loud. He was the first Canadian Coach of the Year, is a Rhodes Scholar, and was recently recognized as the #3 Global Guru in coaching.
- Michael Bungay Stanier
- Box of Crayons
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
- Getting Things Done
- Daniel Goleman
- Seth Godin
- Purple Cow
- The Dip
- Adam Grant
- Give and Take
- Roger Martin
- Playing to Win
- Leo Babauta
- B.J. Fogg
- Milton Glaser
- Do More Great Work
- End Malaria
- The Domino Project
- Malaria No More
- Great Work MBA
- Box of Crayons
- The Power of Habit
- Talent Code