The following is a conversation between Michael Bungay Stanier, Author of The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious, and Change the Way You Lead Forever, and Denver Frederick, the Host of The Business of Giving.


Michael Bungay Stanier, Author of The Advice Trap

Denver: Ninety-three percent of Americans believe that their driving skills are better than average, which, of course, is not possible. There is something else we all believe we’re better than average at, much better in fact, and that is giving other people advice. I might have trouble solving my own problems, but your problems? Let me dial-up that answer for you. This idea is challenged on many different levels by award-winning author and the number one thought leader in coaching, Michael Bungay Stanier, in his wonderful new book, The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious, and Change the Way You Lead Forever. And he’s with us now.

Welcome to The Business of Giving, Michael! 

Michael: Denver, I’m so happy to be here. I heard a great quote related to that the other day. It said, “Hey, take my advice. I’m not using it.” It always feels so much easier to solve somebody else’s problem than to solve your own, and we default to that behavior so often. So, I’m really delighted to dig into it.

Denver: Yes. It’s about the only time I ever have certitude is solving somebody else’s problem.

Michael: Exactly right. 

Denver: I know already the two of us have disappointed many listeners out there by suggesting that their advice might not be quite as good as they’d like. Why are we so programmed, Michael, to give other people advice whether they want it or whether they don’t?

Michael: There’s a number of factors that tie into it. The first is, let’s just acknowledge our training. We’ve been trained through our whole life, through our whole schooling system, to be the person with the answer. Have you got your hand up? Have you got the A? Have you got the person who knows what the right answer is? That’s how you win. 

So there’s one part of us that just goes, “I’ve been trained all my life to add value, so to speak, by offering up an idea, or an opinion, a solution, some advice.” There’s also just a part of us that is wired to want to be helpful. So, we go, “Look. I think I’m genuinely trying to help here. I really want the best for you, and I want to contribute the best I’ve got to support you in whatever it is that you’re struggling with.” So, two very legitimate reasons why we like to default to giving advice. 

Denver: Yes. Good points.

Michael: But here’s the news, which is like: Advice-giving just doesn’t work nearly as well as we all think it does.

And if you’re in doubt, the best way to test that…is just to go think of all the advice you get offered on a regular basis and how unsatisfying so much of it is. It’s not quite right. It’s not quite on point. It’s not the real problem anyway… well, that’s how people feel about your advice as well.

Denver: Well, what’s the problem with it?

Michael: And if you’re in doubt, the best way to test that, first of all, Denver, is just to go think of all the advice you get offered on a regular basis and how unsatisfying so much of it is. It’s not quite right. It’s not quite on point. It’s not the real problem anyway… well, that’s how people feel about your advice as well.

So, you asked: what’s the problem with advice? Three problems. One, half the time, if not more, you’re solving the wrong problem because you’re seduced into thinking that the first challenge, the first thing that they talked about is the real thing rather than just the first thing. But even if you’re solving the right problem, which is honestly rare, secondly, your advice just isn’t as good as you think it is. It comes with bias. It’s dated. It has all your own filters on it. It probably just isn’t as appropriate as you hope. Your brain is wired to convince you that your advice is amazing, but your brain also tells you, just like you said in the intro, that you’re driving is above average.

Denver: It’s amazing! 

Michael: And I’ve seen Denver drive. I know for one thing, if nothing else, you can take away from this podcast, Denver can’t drive. That’s the key thing.

Denver: I saw another study that said most people, 98% of people think they’re nicer than average. And I’ve seen you behave Michael,  And I want to let you know that…

Michael: Touché, sir. Touché. I appreciate that. But I can guarantee I am not nicer than average. That’s true. 

But here’s the bigger thing, Denver. Even if you know what exactly the real problem is, you’ve got the thing, and you know this is the thing to solve. And even if you’ve got a barnstormingly awesome idea; you’ve just got a really terrific piece of advice, the third question to ask yourself: Is this the best action for this person right now? Is the solution the thing they need above and beyond right now? Or is it my support and my help to have them figure out the problem? It’s the choice of leadership. What’s the strongest leadership act?

So often, in that moment, even though it’s so tempting to give the answer, the better act, the better leadership act, the act that invites the person to step forward and become more competent and more confident and more autonomous and more self-sufficient is to give them the space to figure this out themselves, with you at their back.

If you can’t coach in 10 minutes or less, you don’t have time to coach.

Denver: Well, I run into this. “I founded this company. I know this business inside and out. I know what the answer is. Time is money and … I don’t really have the time to sit down and coach this person here. I can tell them what to do and do it quickly and on with the show, and that’s what I’m going to do.” What would you say to that individual? 

Michael: I would say all of that is entirely understandable. I totally get it. And time is money. And what I want you to do is win that game. 

So there’s two things that we can look at in that statement. The first is: How long is this coaching thing going to take? Because honestly, lots of us show up with a ton of baggage about coaching. You think that if I’m going to coach somebody, it’s like a 30-minute conversation, and I have to summon them into my office or through my Zoom room, and we’ve got to have a coaching conversation. 

Whereas for me, I’ve got a couple of philosophies. One is: If you can’t coach in 10 minutes or less, you don’t have time to coach. And secondly, coaching is an everyday act that can kind of infuse everything that you do because coaching, for me, is: Can you stay curious a little bit longer? Can you rush to action- and advice-giving a little bit more slowly?

If you can take a little longer, have them figure out what the real challenge is to work on. Have them own the insight and then come up with the idea themselves. Then they go away… they solve the right problem. They don’t come back to you the next time to ask for advice because they’ve already got the learning in them

Denver: Yes. So it’s the consistency there

Michael: Yes. So we’ll challenge that whole thing around the “I don’t have time for this,” and then we’ll challenge the other piece of time, which is like “It’s faster for me just to give them the answer.” 

And here’s what you’re doing: You’re giving them a not-very-good answer to solve the wrong problem. So yes, you are doing that in a fast, effective way; it’s just not a great outcome. If you can take a little longer, have them figure out what the real challenge is to work on. Have them own the insight and then come up with the idea themselves. Then they go away… they solve the right problem. They don’t come back to you the next time to ask for advice because they’ve already got the learning in them. And what you’re building is this more confident and more autonomous group of people around you that is far more efficient and far more scalable and far more likely to have impact in the work that you do. 

Denver: You’re playing the long game instead of just the immediate, short-term thing.

Michael: It’s not even a long game though. It’s like it’s long in that it’s 20-minutes longer than the conversation so that you are not bothered next week by that same person.

Denver: Right. You’re building the organization and the capacities. Well, you break down the three personas of the “advice monster”… I just love that you effectively refer to them as. And I want you to say a word about each one of them. Why don’t you start with “Tell it.”?

Michael: Yes. Well, let’s just talk about what the advice monster is, and then we’ll get into the three because I want people to know that they know their advice monster. Here’s what it looks like or feels like. 

Somebody starts talking, and they say something like “Here’s what I’m up against or here’s what’s hard,” or “Let me just tell you what’s going on in my life.” And after about 5 seconds, maybe 10 seconds if you’re particularly disciplined, your advice monster looms up out of the dark and goes, “Oh. I know what’s happening here. I’m about to add some value to this conversation. Here I go.” And then you move into fake listening because now you’re like, “Oh, I shouldn’t interrupt.” But I’m just nodding my head, waiting for them to wrap it up so I can tell them what to do. There’s research that says doctors interrupt their patients on average after the first 17 seconds. But we’re all doctors. We all do it. We all want to leap in and go, “Here’s the answer.” 

I think there are three personas to your advice monster: tell it, save it, and control it. So I’ll give you those three. Tell it has convinced you that the only way you add value, the key way you add value, the most important thing you can do is to have the answer. You should have all the answers to all the things. And honestly, if you don’t have all the answers to all the things, you’re letting yourself down, you’re failing, and those around you will fail as well.

And it’s understandable because there’s a short-term win to that. You feel like the smart person, you feel like you’re adding value. You feel like you’re the wise person that people come to. People respect you; people venerate you. But the price you pay, and we’ve talked about that already, it’s like you become the bottleneck. You’re trying to solve the wrong problem. You’re overrating your own advice. You’re disempowering those around you. That’s: Tell it.

Save it — a little subtler. It puts its arm around you and it says, “Hey, your job is to protect everybody. Don’t let anybody struggle, or stumble, or fail, or get confused, or find it hard, or sweat it out, or feel the tension. No, you’ve got to make everything easy for everybody all the time. Don’t let anybody stumble even once because if they do, they’re failing, which means you’re failing.” 

Now, of course, there’s some advantages to that kind of rescue-y behavior. You feel good. You feel moral. You feel like you care for everybody. You often feel, kind of in a martyr-y sort of way, underappreciated for just how much you’re doing. Also, you’ve got your fingers in everybody else’s pie, and it can actually feel pretty good at times. It’s like, “Ooh, look at me.” It’s quite a controlling move actually in a subtle way. 

The price you pay and those around you pay for this rescuer behavior, the save it, is it’s exhausting and overwhelming and frustrating for you. What’s more, you seem to be creating more of the problem. Rescuers create victims, so you’re seeing more of that behavior. And of course, if you’re so busy trying to fix everybody else’s unfixable problems, you’re not working on your own stuff. You’re not focused on the work that makes a difference for you, that’s truly your genius work. 

So tell it and save it, that leaves us with control it — the third one, the slipperiest of the three really. Because “control it” has convinced you that the way you win is you maintain control on everything all of the time. Keep your hands on the wheel, on the reins. Control the process from the start through the middle to the end. Don’t let anybody else step up or lean in. Your job is to keep it all under control. And of course, that gives you authority, and it gives you status, and it gives you certainty, but the price you and others pay is significant: A – you and you alone carry responsibility; B – disempowering of other people yet again; and of course, you’re also not allowing the serendipity of the future, the input from the outside, to come in and enrich you and your understanding of exactly what’s going on. 

There you go. Those are the three advice monsters: tell it, save it, and control it. 

Denver: So clear. As a leader, let’s say, I kind of hang my hat on those three things. That is essentially what I do and my whole sense of self-worth. In fact, it’s the only way I know how to do it If I’m a leader — I tell people, I save people. I control. How do leaders who have to change their mindset get a little bit more secure in themselves and their leadership if they, so to speak, abandon or at least ratchet back on these three areas? 

Michael: It’s a significant question, Denver. You’re speaking to why this work is so often hard change. If easy change is kind of like “I’m just adding some technical skills to what I already do. I’m just adding a new habit to how I already work,” hard change is when you go, “I need to evolve. I need to level up in terms of how I show up in this world.”

I almost need to… easy change is like downloading a new app on your phone–

Denver: Not easy for me.

Michael: Hard change is when you need a new operating system. You’re like, “I’m going to rewire myself here.”

Denver: That’s a great description. 

Michael: So the way I think about it, because I’ve been thinking about this hard over the last little while, you’ve got to see the prizes and the punishments, I think, because until you see that equation, it’s hard to make the decision to make the choice. So there are prizes and punishments for how you are behaving now. And we’ve talked about those. Each of those three advice monsters has often short-term wins, prizes – more ego-driven, or it makes me look good; it makes me feel good; and punishments – the price you pay and they pay, and your system and your organization pays for that behavior. 

Then you imagine what would happen if you tamed your advice monster or you changed your behavior. So now you’re imagining what it’s like to be the “future you,” not “current you,” the “present you.” And you do a similar piece, which is like, “Well, what are the prizes of that that could be significant?” You empower others around you. You focus on more work. You have more impact. You work less hard. You’re seen as a more generous leader. You’re seen to embody servant leadership and the way that that empowers others around you, so you become known to be a great leader. So there’s real benefit, real prizes to this future way of behaving.

But you have to acknowledge the punishment,:the worry, the anxiety that that new behavior comes with. It’s like, “What happens when I give up some control? What happens when I don’t be the person with the right, the first answer every time? What happens when I make people step into their own responsibility and their own accountability?” What my friend Peter Block called “when you give people responsibility for their own freedom”… all of that is stuff that needs to be looked at. 

And until for “present you,” the punishments outweigh the prizes — like “I want to change the way I behave because it’s just not scalable and it’s not working anymore;” and until for “future you,” the prizes outweigh the punishments — “this is going to be hard, but it’s worth it,” then you’ve got the kind of visceral, somatic understanding about what is now required to make the change.

Denver: Yes. I almost have to change my definition of what it means to be a boss, not to use that word “boss,” but it’s like you redefine success. And that success has been defined for so long, and it’s our security blanket. But to redefine something, well, how will people look at me? That’s really, really interesting.

So what are the tools that are going to help me stay curious just a little bit longer? 

Michael: Two levels to answer that. The easiest level — ask some good questions. And The Coaching Habit, which is the book I wrote about four- or five years ago, which has kind of gone bananas. It’s sold almost a million copies.

Denver: Yes. It was absolutely fabulous.

Michael: Thank you. And as a quick aside, I spent three years trying to get that published with a regular publisher, and they kept turning it down. So I self-published it. So not only has it been a huge success, but I feel super smug as a result. So it’s very nice.

Denver: Write a book on persistence, OK? I want to read that. 

Michael: Thank you. Yes. Exactly. But the seven questions that I talk about in The Coaching Habit, I spent quite a number of years trying to figure out what are the questions that I think are most essential to a manager or a leader, a contributor to a human being. And there’s a bazillion good questions out there, but in The Coaching Habit, I’m like, “Here’s seven good questions. If you master these, if you start embedding these in the way that you behave day to day, things will get better.”

And that’s the most obvious way of starting with the tools, plus some insights around how to ask a question. It’s essentially: Ask a question, shut up, and listen to the answer; ask another question. It’s simple, but it’s difficult. 

Denver: I know… because if you get the silence back, what you want to do is you want to help explain that question with five other questions.

Michael: Totally. Yes. There’s all sorts of ways that discipline is tricky. One is when you get a little bit of silence back. You ask a question,and then what feels like this eternity of silence stretches on and on and on. And of course, it’s been about one or two seconds, but it feels like forever. And you’re like, “This silence is making me so uncomfortable.” So you jump in and you re-express the question, or you add some more questions, and it goes a little bit off the rails. 

One of the great disciplines you can have as somebody who is being more coach-like, staying curious a little bit longer, is to ask a question and then just see if you can take three or four breaths. If after four really good breaths, they still haven’t answered the question, then take another couple of breaths and see how you’re doing. 

Denver: That’s great advice.

Michael: And however uncomfortable you’re feeling about the silence, almost always they’re feeling the same discomfort, and they will fill the space. 

But this is a bit of a side conversation, but it’s also deeply respectful for those types of people who… what Susan Cain called the “quiet introverts.” A mechanical way of understanding introverts is they like to figure out what they’re going to say in their head before they say it. And that’s different from people like me who, in this kind of world, is an extrovert, which is, when Denver asks me a question, I start talking with no clear idea of what I’m about to say. Denver goes, “Hey, Michael, what about this?” And I go, “There are three reasons why that’s the case.” I don’t know what those three things are yet. I’m about to find out.

Denver: I know one, and by the time I finished one, I’ll come up with the other two. 

Michael: But if you’re not wired like that, and there’s a lot of people who aren’t, they’re like “I need to see the arc of my answer before I give you my answer.” Then asking the question and then holding the silence allows you to be present with them and allows them the space to answer.

Denver: That’s a great point. And when I think about the changes that have occurred in my life, almost all of it has occurred when I wasn’t talking. 

Michael: That’s interesting. Say more about that. When you say the changes—

Denver: It’s when I’m thinking. To the extent that I’ve coached, I recognize that silence means that somebody is really thinking, and you’re not thinking when you’re talking sometimes. But when you have that, and you’re really thinking, we feel discomfort, but that’s when the change is happening. They’re processing things.

Michael: I love that. I love that you see that. When you ask a good question, and they don’t have a fast answer, it’s a sweet moment because you actually see them, quite often, they will look up to their left because now they’re kind of accessing their brain to try and figure out what the answer is. They’re literally making new neural pathways and new neural connections. 

Denver: That’s right. 

And if you’re an inexperienced person in that type of conversation, you get a bit worried because you’re like, “Oh no. What’s happening?” If you get a few gray hairs like Denver and I have, what you do is you kind of—

Denver: You still got it, Michael. Let’s not complain. 

Michael: You metaphorically sit back and light a cigar because you’re like, “This is it. This is the work. All I’ve got to do is be witness to this and watch them figuring this stuff out because this is making the difference, right now. Even as they sit in silence trying to work it out, and I sit in silence, magic is happening.”

Denver: That’s right. Don’t screw it up by yapping. So–

Michael: Exactly!

But if ever there was a time for possibilities and staying focused on what the right challenge might be, and being able to try and navigate our way through complexity, it’s now. Certainty does not navigate your way through complexity. It just runs you off a cliff.

Denver: This may be hard to answer because we’re in the middle of it. But as you talked about that relationship between a leader and members of their team, and jumping in with the advice and doing all those things, do you see that dynamic changing at all since this pandemic started and we’re all working virtually?

Michael: What the pandemic has done on a global level is increased uncertainty. And then depending on where else you live in the world, you’ve got your own other kind of added ingredients to add to the uncertainty. If you’re in the US, it’s like what’s happening with this election. If you’re in India, what’s happening under there. If you’re in Australia… every area has got its own kind of layers of uncertainty. But all of us share a conversation around: What’s an economy going to be like?  And what’s our health system going to be like as we try and navigate a pandemic?

Our brains hate uncertainty, just at a fundamental wiring level, our little kind of lizard brain at the back of our thing here, it’s like “My job, my only job is to keep you alive. When there’s uncertainty, the odds of you dying go up. I hate uncertainty.” That’s your unconscious brain. It’s scanning the environment, five or six times a second, going “Is it safe here or is it dangerous? Safe or dangerous? Safe or dangerous?” And uncertainty makes it–

Denver: It’s the way we’ve evolved.

Michael: Yes. Dangerous. It’s what allows DNA to keep getting passed on because the brain is “I’m just keeping you alive until you can pass the DNA along.”

Denver: That’s about it.

Michael: So we all have that low-level rumbling of anxiety because the level of uncertainty is more present than it’s ever been. You could argue that uncertainty is always there. We live in this delusion of control and certainty, but it’s more obvious right now. What I think that means is, not just as a leader, but just as a human act, you want to be conscious of delivering both certainty and space. 

I think the certainty you can deliver is effectively saying as best you can, “I have your back. I see you for who you are. I respect you for what you can do. I will do all I can to have your back as we work through this together.” I think the danger is people want to default to even more certainty, even greater claims of outcomes or whatever it might be. And I think that’s a danger because we’re already wired to drive certainty. That’s the advice monsters wanting to leap in already. 

But if ever there was a time for possibilities and staying focused on what the right challenge might be, and being able to try and navigate our way through complexity, it’s now. Certainty does not navigate your way through complexity. It just runs you off a cliff.

Denver: This is a time to embrace the gray, if there was ever a time to do that. And it’s also a time, as you say about certainty, why authoritarian leaders can step into the void because there’s no hesitation. I am even amazed sometimes when I watch these pundits on TV, and the last three predictions they have made have been spectacularly wrong, but they will tell me what’s going to happen in the future with 100% certitude. And to your point, people like that certitude. 

Michael: They do. They absolutely do. When you get an expert that comes on the TV and somebody goes, “Well, how do you think the pandemic is going to play out? And they’re like, “Well, it’s complicated. We’ve got this factor and this factor and then this factor, and we don’t know about this factor. And so, it’s hard to say. It could be anywhere between this and this, but I…” and as opposed to somebody who comes and goes, “Let me be absolutely clear. This pandemic will be over by this.” We’re all like, “Oh, I like that person.”

Denver: I like that guy. That’s right. It may be complex for you, but it’s not complex for me. So I’ll tell you exactly what’s going to happen. 

Michael: So we love certainty even when it’s wrong. It’s nothing to beat yourself up about. It’s your brain’s wiring. It’s really useful to know that your brain has that wiring, so you can manage your own cognitive biases that might lead you behaving in a way that’s suboptimal. 

Denver: Let me ask you about uncertainty. You write The Coaching Habit. It is a huge, huge success, and then you decide I’m going into the pool again. And was there some uncertainty? Some trepidation? Some pressure? Because when you get up to the bat the second time, you don’t want everybody to think the first one was a fluke. How did you grapple with that? 

Michael: Watching Liz Gilbert’s TED talk on this, she wrote, Eat, Pray, Love, and then she did a TED talk going “I’m currently working on the spectacularly disappointing second book that follows Eat, Pray, Love,” which is like there’s just no way that you can have a hit like that a second time. You certainly can’t bank on it. 

So, as I wrote The Advice Trap, I went, “OK. I am ruined utterly by The Coaching Habit because… there’s cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, I know this. If you can sell 10,000 books, you are already in a rarefied atmosphere. Most books sell less than a thousand copies. So 10,000 books is a good result. If you can sell more than 50,000 books, it’s amazing. Over 100,000 books? Almost no authors sell more than 100,000 books.

Denver: Hall of Fame, baby.

Michael: Right. Now, The Coaching Habit has sold more than a million books or close to a million books. For the sake of math, let’s call it a million books. If The Advice Trap sells 10% of The Coaching Habit, which just feels like a failure when you say it like that, it has sold 100,000 copies. If it sells 50,000 copies, which should be a great result. If you gave me that, “Michael, would you be happy with 50,000 copies sold?” I’d be like, “Absolutely!”

Denver: Where do I sign?

Michael: If you then went and said, “That will be 5% of what you’ll sell through The Coaching Habit.” I’m like, “Well, that’s not very good, is it?”

Denver: Yes. It’s all relative. 

Michael: So I just know that to be true. So part of what I try to do, and Denver, I can’t say I do it all the time, is I commit to the process and I keep trying to let go of the outcome.

Denver: That’s the way to do it.

Michael: So I try and write the best book I can. I try and figure out what I’m willing to give, spend, in terms of time and money around marketing and getting it out into the world. And then I know when to stop and when I need to start the next project. And it takes off… it doesn’t take off. 

Luckily, years ago, I was talking to Marshall Goldsmith, who’s a big-name coach, and then subsequently became a friend, but when we were talking, we didn’t really know each other. And he goes, “I’ve sold more than a million copies of my books.” I’m like, “That’s amazing, Marshall.” He goes, “Yes. But I’ve written more than 25 books. And two of those books are responsible for the million copies being sold, and the other 20 have sold a scattering.” 

And just knowing that and remembering that and just going, “Oh, yes. Some books land. Some books don’t land.” The way you increase the odds of the book taking off is you write a really good book; you commit to marketing it for a while; then you get on to the next book

Denver: That’s right. The only thing you can control is the process, and the outcome is going to be what it is. And if the outcomes are not there, the only thing you can do is look at your process and say, “Maybe I need to tweak the process” because you can drive yourself mad with outcomes. And I find that you never get mad when you look at the process, and you let go of the outcome because it is beyond your control. 

Look at somebody, maybe starting a new restaurant that was opening March 15. They could have done all the planning. It could have been the best decision in the world, and now they’re bankrupt. Well, they can’t control the outcome. Nobody knew a pandemic was going to hit on opening night.

Michael: With The Coaching Habit, I spent a bunch of time going, “Well, what’s my target for copies sold?” And having worked with actual publishers in the past, I just realized nobody knows what they’re talking about when they set a number. They’re just pulling it out of the air. 

So I had a different metric. I said I would like this book to be considered a classic. And the only metric that I can really get clear in my head around that is to have 1,000 reviews on Amazon. So I then built some processes that would increase the odds of me getting more rather than fewer reviews on Amazon, including a request in the book “Can you write a review on Amazon?” And then when I hit 1,000 reviews on Amazon, it was like “Amazing!” And literally, people started calling the book a classic, and I’m like, “That’s it. I’ve won.” And everything else that the book sells is just bonus gravy for me. 

Denver: Before I let you go, tell us about mbs.works.

Michael: So I founded a company almost 20 years ago called Box of Crayons, and it’s a learning and development company. It trains people in coaching skills, typically in Fortune 500 companies. And about a year and a half ago, I stepped away from being CEO of that. Very exciting, slightly nerve-racking because I have 20 years of identity entangled in being the Box-of-Crayons guy.

Denver: Lots of self-worth stuff wrapped up in that. 

Michael: Right. But made easier by the fact that Shannon, who became the CEO, is just endlessly more competent than I am, so it’s in very good hands. And we did a lot of work. We spent actually two years, a year leading up to it and a year afterwards, managing the process to make sure that I didn’t come back and meddle and kind of foul my nest. There was jumping into that. 

And one of the things that we set up was mbs.works as my next sandbox, the place for me to do projects. And after some thinking about it, I decided that what I want to do is help people be a force for change in the world, not just do the self-development work that makes them a better person, but do the self-development work that makes them a better person in order that they may make the world a little bit better, become a force for change in their world. 

So, it’s early days, but we’ve got a great free resource there called The Year of Living Brilliantly. It’s 52 great teachers. You get a short video every week. It’s totally free, and you can just jump on, and it’s like a year of growth. If you’re hoping that this coming year is a bit better than the year that’s gone past, then this is a helpful tool for you. 

Denver: Well, I’ve jumped on, and it’s great. The book again is The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious, and Change the Way You Lead Forever. And I hope listening to Michael has made you a little more curious, at least enough so you go out and pick yourself up a copy of the book. Thanks Michael, for being here today. It was such a pleasure to have you on the show. 

Michael: Denver, it was a delight. You’re a wonderful interviewer. I enjoyed the conversation. 

Denver: Thank you.


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