#10 - Greg Mckeown: How to Discover Who You're Meant to Be

In today’s episode of the It’s Not What It Seems podcast, I have an essential conversation with Greg Mckeown. Greg is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. He also collaborated on the writing and research of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. He has taught at companies that include Apple, Google, Facebook, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Twitter, and VMware. He was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review.

Greg has conducted research in the field of leadership, strategy and why people and teams thrive and why they don't. Prior to this research and teaching, Greg worked for Heidrick & Struggles' Global Leadership Practice assessing senior executives. His work included being a part of a year-long project for Mark Hurd (then CEO of Hewlett Packard) assessing the top 300 executives at HP. He is an active social innovator. He served as a Board Member for the Washington D.C. policy group, Resolve (KONY2012), and as a mentor with 2 Seeds a non-profit incubator for agricultural projects in Africa. He’s also been a guest speaker at non-profit groups that have included The Kauffman Fellows, St. Jude, and the Minnesota Community Education Association. Originally hailing from London, England, he now lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and their four children. Greg holds an MBA from Stanford University.

In our chat, we’ll discuss:

  • The one thing holding otherwise capable people back from the next level (5:43)

  • How Greg got led to this idea of Essentialism (11:24)

  • The counterintuitive first step in becoming an essentialist (17:42)

  • The lesson Steve Harvey ended up teaching Greg (19:19)

  • How you can start to discern what is truly important to you (32:09)

  • How to develop a system for implementing an important trade-off (41:58)


Read Greg’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: http://bit.ly/EssentialismMckeown
Read “The Tail End” http://bit.ly/TheTailEndGraphicalEssay
Read “Life Weeks” http://bit.ly/LifeWeeks


Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (a book that’s changed Greg’s thinking): http://bit.ly/MansSearchforMeaningFrankl
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: http://bit.ly/ReadAnnaKarenina
John Adams by David McCullough: http://bit.ly/JohnAdamsBio

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