Interviews Archive - Predictable Success

David Allen on the Role of Productivity Management in Leadership

David AllenIt was a real delight to welcome David Allen back to the Predictable Success podcast series. As well as being a personal friend and colleague, David has an amazing mind and an outlook on life and business that personifies the Predictable Success mindset.

Listen as the best-selling author of the productivity bible “Getting Things Done” talks about:

  • – Life in Amsterdam (David and his wife Kathryn moved there a few years ago)
  • – The development of his business, David Allen Company as an international licensor of the GTD methodology
  • – The process of writing – what it was like to write a best-seller
  • – The role of productivity management in leadership
  • – His greatest personal coaching challenge
  • – What it was like to coach an astronaut on GTD – while she was on the space station!
  • – The upcoming GTD Summit in Amsterdam

…and much, much more!

Audio Only Version:

About David Allen

David Allen is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on personal and organizational productivity.

His thirty-year pioneering research and coaching to corporate managers and CEOs of some of America’s most prestigious corporations and institutions has earned him Forbes’ recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the U.S. and Business 2.0 magazine’s inclusion in their 2006 list of the “50 Who Matter Now.”

Time Magazine called his flagship book, Getting Things Done, “the definitive business self-help book of the decade.” Fast Company Magazine called David “one of the world’s most influential thinkers” in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision, and his groundbreaking methodologies in management and executive peak performance.

David is the international best-selling author of Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity; Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life; and Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life.

Sarah Robinson on Fierce Loyalty

Sarah Robinson knows more about building truly vibrant communities than anyone else I know.
Sarah Robinson
Now, don’t get me wrong: there are many people who make more noise about it – ‘community’ is the meme-of-the-moment, and you can’t drop a quarter on a street-corner without 25 so-called social media / community-building experts picking it up and trying to sell it back to you.

Sarah differs in one vital way from most of the others who talk about community building: She’s actually done it.

Buy Fierce Loyalty hereIn real life. With real businesses, for-profit and not for profits – and not just once, but many times. She knows of what she speaks from hard-won experience – as you’ll hear in this great interview, in which she explains the principles of building truly vibrant communities from her new book, Fierce Loyalty.

Fair disclosure: Sarah is a friend of mine, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching from the sidelines as she crafted ‘Fierce Loyalty’. I wrote the foreword for the book – not only because she is a friend, but because she has written a damn fine book, one that everyone in business should read.

Listen to my interview with Sarah below, and get the book here (Kindle or printed version).

(Running time is approximately 34 minutes.)

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Recognized as one of the fifteen most influential business thinkers in the world, Marshall is a world authority in helping successful leaders get even better and a #1 NYT and WSJ best selling author (“What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”, “Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It”)


In this interview Marshall shares:

  • » How the double-booking of the then highest-paid consultant in his field got Marshall started in his career;
  • » How he became an executive coach, and the unique ‘pay-only-on-results’ basis he works on;
  • » The single intriguing question he asked soon-to-be-retired CEO’s that led to ‘Mojo’;
  • » The impact of his Buddhist beliefs on his writing, and what Buddha said when he asked him about ‘Mojo’;
  • » What Mojo is, and how to get it;
  • » The five categories of happiness and meaning, and how they impact leaders at work;
  • » Where Marshall gets his happiness and meaningfulness from;
  • » How he manages his teaching, coaching and writing activities to reach the most people;
  • » Why our default reaction in life is inertia, and how to overcome it;
  • » The exercise he goes through every day with his coach – and what he scores zero on;
  • » What he means by “going through periods of temporary sanity“, and how important they are;
  • » What we learned from Duke Ellington and Dennis Mudd about developing our own Mojo;
  • » Avoiding ‘Nojo’ – the negative spirit that holds back Mojo;
  • » What he, George Clooney and Bono have in common;
  • » The four steps to achieving Mojo;
  • » The Brain Pill – are you prepared to take it?;
  • » What he’s working on next;
  • » His precise retirement date;

Click here to read more about Marshall Goldsmith and Mojo at

(Running time is approximately 30 minutes.)

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Dan Pink


The author of several provocative, bestselling books about the changing world of work, most recently “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”, Dan appears regularly on or in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Wired, CNN, CNBC, ABC, and NPRIn this interview Dan shares:

  • » Why he changed from law to politics;
  • » What work he did for Vice President, Al Gore;
  • » His change from the ‘white house’ to the ‘pink house’;
  • » Why he believes in ‘do what you do’ instead of ‘do what you love’;
  • » What he learned during his trip to India and a fellowship to Japan;
  • » The importance of a finding information in a book versus online;
  • » The surprising truth about what really motivates us;
  • » What truly motivates us and how to use that knowledge;
  • » How the classic A and B type personality traits relate to his X and I types ;
  • » What organization leaders can do to become a type A’s;
  • » The secret to high performance and satisfaction;
  • » His three main elements of true and intrinsic motivation;
  • » Why management needs to be striving for engagement of teams if it wants to reach Predictable Success;
  • » Why he says profit-motive is an insufficient motivator for creative tasks;
  • » Which companies are enlisting new approaches to motivation;
  • » His ‘Drive’ of Mission, Vision, Values;
  • » Why he believes his new book ‘Drive’ is getting such positive reception;

Click here to read more about Dan Pink and Drive at

(Running time is approximately 30 minutes.)

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Michael Bungay Stanier is the founder and Senior Partner of Box of Crayons,
4 a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work. His first book, Get Unstuck & Get Going on the stuff that matters, won a number of awards and was endorsed by Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, the management expert Peter Block, business author and coach Marshall Goldsmith and many others.
Michael has also created The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun and The 5.75 Question You’ve Been Avoiding, short internet movies seen by millions of people around the world.
Michael was a Rhodes Scholar and the 2006 Canadian Coach of the Year. He is Australian and now lives in Canada.
In this interview Michael shares:

  • » His inspiring favorite quote;
  • » How ‘Box of Crayons’ is working with organizations to help them do less Good Work and more Great Work;
  • » Why a Rhodes Scholarship was a life changing moment for him;
  • » How he wrote the global vision for Glaxo Smith Kline in 25 minutes;
  • » How and why he left Australia and ended up in Toronto, Canada;
  • » His thoughts on being an entrepreneur;
  • » How your choices can affect achieving a meaningful life;
  • » What he describes is his personal vision and his values;
  • » His training program for managers and leaders – practical coaching skills;
  • » How to build a sustainable business;
  • » How we can all do more great work;
  • » How to get out of the treadmill of constant good work;
  • » What’s in his ‘tool box’;
  • » How to make choices about what you say yes to;
  • » His favorite exercise map for business planning;

Click here to read more about Michael Bungay Stanier and ‘Do More Great Work’ at

(Running time is approximately 30 minutes.)

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Rita McGrath

Rita McGrath is an expert on strategy in volatile and uncertain environments.

She works with senior leadership teams to help them create an entrepreneurial mindset, drive growth and recognize when and how to disengage. In addition to her popular speaking engagements, she works in partnership with companies who seek to accelerate their competitive effectiveness.
Her new co-authored book, Discovery Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity (2009) was endorsed by Clayton Christensen, Ram Charan and CK Prahalad, among others. In this interview Rita shares:

  • » Her passion for politics and political consulting;
  • » How she’s working with leadership teams to help them create an entrepreneurial mindset;
  • » Why, in the beginning, it wasn’t her desire to be a professor;
  • » Why it intrigues her to study problems that are relevant to people;
  • » Her goal to reaching out to managers with strategic topics;
  • » Teaching large organizations to learn discipline in their work;
  • » On writing books – why she stumbled to find her voice and about setting time to write;
  • » Her ‘Market Busters’ 40 specific tactics;
  • » The 5 strategic lenses to new growth opportunities;
  • » Her involvement with Microsoft CEO Summit;
  • » How her second book ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset’ came to be;
  • » Why she believes you don’t have to be undisciplined to accommodate growth;
  • » The key to an organization’s distinguishing factors;
  • » Why she says you should keep your assets light and flexible;
  • » The 2 main drivers for ‘Discovery Driven Growth’;

Click here to read more about Rita McGrath and ‘Discovery Driven Growth’

(Running time is approximately 30 minutes.)

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Clint Greenleaf

Clint is the CEO of. Greenleaf Book Group, one of the fastest-growing companies in America and one of the Inc 500. Clint speaks at conferences and seminars across the country and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and Entrepreneur. He is also a writer for and a regular guest on the new Fox Business Network. ‘Predictable Success’ was published by Greenleaf Book Group, and is the most recent of their nine Wall Street Journal bestsellers.
In this interview Clint shares:

  • » How a bet and a case of beer made him a best-selling author instead of a CPA;
  • » What led him to launch Greenleaf Book Group;
  • » How the business has panned out compared to his original goals;
  • » What his #1 personal calling is;
  • » Why (and how) he broke the traditional publishing model;
  • » How the ‘big’ publishing houses reacted to his market entry and what he did about it;
  • » How his role has changed as CEO over 13 years;
  • » Why he views hiring as the most important function;
  • » His #1 management tip;
  • » What makes Greenleaf different from ‘traditional’ publishers;
  • » Client’s view on what it takes to have a best-selling book;
  • » How he sees the future of the publishing industry, including the impact of eBooks;

(Running time is approximately 30 minutes.)

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Braden Kelley

Braden is an MBA from London Business School
who works with British, German, Japanese, and American companies to increase their strategic innovation. His web site, Blogging Innovation is one of the most highly respected innovation resources on the internet. His new book, Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire:A Roadmap to a Sustainable Culture of Ingenuity and Purpose is on sale now.
In this interview Braden shares:

  • » How his early career in technology led to a lifelong interest in strategic innovation;
  • » What led him to launch his own innovation consulting business;
  • » How he uses blogging to build his consulting business;
  • » What the role is of his website in building a consulting company while providing great content;
  • » How to make sure your new products and services don’t end up in ‘Blandville’;
  • » What led him to write his new book, “Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire”;
  • » How and why organizations lose their ability to be innovative;
  • » What your ‘innovation engine’ is and how to keep it in good working order;
  • » The role of organizational psychology and structure in sustaining innovation;
  • » How organizations lose their innovation ‘mojo’;
  • » Why all managers in growing companies need to understand their role in keeping their organization innovative;
  • » The best role for an ‘innovation manager’ inside an organization; …and much more

(Running time is approximately 30 minutes.)

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Get a free copy of “Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire


Braden Kelley is a unique. experienced voice in the turbulent waters of innovation, and I’d like everyone to have the opportunity to hear his message – so I’m giving away a free copy of his excellent book, “Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire: A Roadmap to a Sustainable Culture of Ingenuity and Purpose”. In order to win this free copy of Braden’s great new book, simply take a moment to submit a comment, question or observation (below) about my interview with Braden and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a free copy of “Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire”. You can submit your comment, observation or questions here:

Gregg Pollack

Gregg is the founder of Envylabs,
 which specialize in building engaging web applications and producing top-quality videos and podcasts. A self-professed ‘Hollywood director trapped in the body of a software developer’, although Gregg loves programming he is also passionate about finding new and creative ways to educate using podcasts and screencasts.
“You can view Gregg’s video (referenced in the interview) here.

In this interview Gregg shares:

  • » How his background in computer engineering merged with an ‘entrepreneurial seizure’ to give birth to a business;
  • » The ‘deal’ he did with himself that resulted in launching Envy Labs;
  • » What the first year in Fun has been like;
  • » The skills he needed to learn to move from being a technician to being a business owner;
  • » How he came to make a presentation on ‘Swearing and Consulting’;
  • » The top three things he would pass on to someone starting a new business today;
  • » The importance of managing cash flow in Early Struggle and how he did it in his business;
  • » How to get your pricing structure right from the start;
  • » Why you need to be transparent with clients and how to manage transparency;
  • » How he discovered the power of effective delegation, what to delegate, and what to retain;
  • » How he found really good people to hire;
  • » Why being an educator in his industry has contributed to Envy Lab’s fast growth; …and much more

(Running time is approximately 30 minutes.)

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Phil Bain

Phil is a Director and Co-Founder of ShredBank Ltd
A leading on-site document shredding company providing confidential document destruction services to organizations and individuals. Launched in the teeth of a recession in the UK, Shredbank has grown to become the second largest document shredding provider in its region.

Phil was recently named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by his local Chamber of Commerce.

In this interview Phil shares:

  • » What he learned about business from watching his father launch and run the Pizza Hut Master license in Ireland;
  • » How his training as a consultant educated him in the realities of business;
  • » Why he decided to launch is business in the teeth of a recession;
  • » What the secret was in getting Shredbank out of Early Struggle;
  • » The key distinction between being a consultant and operating a business;
  • » The changes that becoming a business owner has made on him personally;
  • » The mistakes he made in the early years of running his new business and how you can avoid them;
  • » What the true impact of a good (and bad) economy is in growing a business;
  • » The lessons he has learned about running a business in a tough economy;
  • » What he would advise anyone seeking to launch a business in a down economy;
  • » How he learned that Shredbank had to ‘punch above it’s weight’, and how to do it;
  • » The goals he has set for Shredbank to achieve in the next three years; …and much more

(Running time is approximately 30 minutes.)

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