May 16, 2018
author of the New York Times Bestseller
“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” and founder of
McKeown Inc, joins Jim and Jan on a discussion on essentialism,
priorities, and the belief that doing less is actually doing more.
Greg explains what essentialism is, how we can open up the
conversation in our own lives and find out what our priorities
should be as a daily discipline to gain clarity. He speaks of his
experiences in helping leaders and executives get clarity so their
organization operates with intent rather than reacting to
matters deemed as urgent from outside forces.
[2:58] The essential priority
for Greg is tuning in to his internal clarity. Our clarity is often
drowned out in societal demands, the need to feel as though we are
doing more, and appearances we try to keep up on social
[7:48] Most people know
intellectually that they don’t need to be doing what they are, but
emotionally it doesn’t feel true. The decision for Greg to move
towards what he does want to do and let go of he doesn’t, let him
to the process of discovering the four stage pattern of
[9:01] The four stage pattern
that Greg discovered when working in Silicon Valley in
organizations and individuals: Clarity, Success, Options and
[11:38] Planning isn’t something
to be crammed in, it’s the essential work. The essentialist
believes only a few things matter, and it changes the course of
your life completely on what you pursue and how you spend your
[14:45] Practices such as
meditation, praying, journaling and getting enough rest are helpful
to increase space to identify what is actually
[20:02] Greg encourages people
to make decisions less based upon if something is good, rather if
it’s one of the most important things. Anything below 90% essential
should at least be questioned.
[23:02] Two examples of non
essential things Greg traded that made a profound impact on his
life - trading out Facebook scrolling for calling his grandfather,
and cutting out sugar.
[31:29] The first step towards
essentialism is to have the conversation and identifying that there
are non essential practices at play. Next is the work towards
cutting out what is non essential and shifting towards a mindset
that supports the practices and choices that go along with
[36:30] Greg talks about the
paradox of success on a societal level, and what it takes to
maintain the social complexity in our time now.
[40:12] Greg shares a tangible
daily practice on how we can get to the very first 6 meaningful
items and cross off the other obligations go.
[50:57] The things that matter
most that are important and essential are hardly ever
me, it’s about clarity. To be able to hear, recognize and obey that
voice of clarity that’s often drowned out.
- The right answer is often to not to do
- Strategy is what you say no to.
most essential work is to protect our ability to discern what is
essentialist believes almost everything is non essential, and only
a few things really matter.
- Ask yourself, “what should I stop doing?”
- Clarity equals success
you are lost and admit you are lost, the intent
top and most important item rarely gets done at all.
- For how long will this matter?
Originally from London, England,
Greg McKeown is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Essentialism: The Disciplined
Pursuit of Less” and the founder of McKeown, Inc, a company with a
mission to teach Essentialism to millions of people around the
world. Their clients include Adobe, Apple, Airbnb, Cisco, Google,
Facebook, Pixar, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Twitter, VMware and
McKeown is an accomplished
public speaker and has spoken to hundreds of audiences around the
world including in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, England,
Holland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South
Africa and the United States.
Highlights include speaking at
SXSW, interviewing Al Gore at the Annual Conference of the World
Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland and receiving a personal
invitation from Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, to speak to his
Annual Innovation Conference.
His writing has appeared or been
covered by Fast Company,
Fortune, HuffPost, Politico, and Inc. Magazine and Harvard Business Review. He has also been interviewed on numerous
television and radio shows including NPR and NBC.
In 2012 he was named a
Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Originally from London, England, McKeown now
lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and their four children. He
graduated with an MBA from Stanford University.
Essentialism: The Disciplined
Pursuit of Less
“Success Can Be a Catalyst for