Multiply Your Success with Tom DuFore

158. Change Myths and Why Philosophy in Business Matters—Paul Gibbons

June 19, 2023 Tom DuFore and Paul Gibbons
158. Change Myths and Why Philosophy in Business Matters—Paul Gibbons
Multiply Your Success with Tom DuFore
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Multiply Your Success with Tom DuFore
158. Change Myths and Why Philosophy in Business Matters—Paul Gibbons
Jun 19, 2023
Tom DuFore and Paul Gibbons

This is our 3-year anniversary episode. Thank you to all of our loyal listeners!

Have you ever had an important business decision to make and been unable to determine if it is the right thing to do? Or getting confirmation of specifics, but having a sense that the decision may not align with your values?  

Our guest is Paul Gibbons, and he shares with us an overview of his most recent book, Change Myths, and why philosophy in business matters. 

Ask questions before making a decision, such as: what’s right here, what is the right thing to do according to my principles, and values, and how do I want to be remembered?


Paul Gibbons is an author, speaker, and consultant. His “beat” is helping business leaders use science and philosophy to make better strategic decisions, implement change, innovate, change culture, and create workplaces where talent flourishes. His most recent book, The Science of Organizational Change has been hailed as “the most important book on change in fifteen years.” 

Between writing projects, he consults, coaches, and speaks with businesses such as Microsoft, Google, HSBC, KPMG, and Comcast. 

This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.   

Show Notes Transcript

This is our 3-year anniversary episode. Thank you to all of our loyal listeners!

Have you ever had an important business decision to make and been unable to determine if it is the right thing to do? Or getting confirmation of specifics, but having a sense that the decision may not align with your values?  

Our guest is Paul Gibbons, and he shares with us an overview of his most recent book, Change Myths, and why philosophy in business matters. 

Ask questions before making a decision, such as: what’s right here, what is the right thing to do according to my principles, and values, and how do I want to be remembered?


Paul Gibbons is an author, speaker, and consultant. His “beat” is helping business leaders use science and philosophy to make better strategic decisions, implement change, innovate, change culture, and create workplaces where talent flourishes. His most recent book, The Science of Organizational Change has been hailed as “the most important book on change in fifteen years.” 

Between writing projects, he consults, coaches, and speaks with businesses such as Microsoft, Google, HSBC, KPMG, and Comcast. 

This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.   

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):

Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team, and today’s episode is our three-year anniversary. And it’s always easy to remember, because our first episode was released the Monday right after Father’s Day. And if you’re new to our podcast or haven’t been with us since the very beginning, our very first episode was an interview with my dad, which was supposed to be just a trial. I had asked him, “Hey, can I practice this podcast thing with you?” And it just happened to be that right when it was going to be released, it was the Monday right after Father’s Day. So, happy belated Father’s Day to all of you fathers out there. Thank you for all the great work you’re doing with your families and children.


And today what I always like to do on these anniversary shows is do something special by bringing in a special guest or something of that nature. And I brought in a special guest, someone that I’m very excited to have on. His name is Paul Gibbons. And the reason I invited Paul on is I had read one of his books called, Impact, which is part of a three-book series that he’s writing, and he just finished the last book in the series called Change Myths. And so we brought him on to talk about Change Myths and to share about philosophy in business. And it’s just a wonderful, wonderful interview. He talks about all different kinds of things, and I was really inspired by how Paul integrates this idea of business and philosophy and avoiding common change myths, especially as a leader in your organization. And Paul shares some examples of those that, look, we’ve all used or tried to implement at some point in time.


And so, Paul, just to give you a quick background on him, Paul is an author, speaker, and consultant. And his quote, “BEAT is helping leaders use science and philosophy to make better strategic decisions, implement change, innovate change culture, and create workplaces where talent flourishes.” He’s written several books. Like I’d mentioned, his most recent one is Change Myths and the series that he has being developed as well. One of his books, the Science of Organizational Change, has been hailed as the most important book on change in 15 years. Between writing projects he consults coaches and speaks with businesses such as Microsoft, Google, HSBC, KPMG, and Comcast. And he’s built and sold business of his own. He’s done phenomenal things. You’re going to love this interview, and I’m just so grateful for Paul’s time to jump in for this interview today. Let’s go ahead and jump right into it.

Paul Gibbons, Author (02:49):

I’m Paul Gibbons and the name of my company is the same as my name, Paul Gibbons. I just left IBM where I was an executive for the last couple of years, and the Paul Gibbons business has been going, I don’t know, 15 years or something like that. It focuses on writing books mostly. I don’t convert those to consulting engagements and keynote speeches, so that’s what I do. I have owned and started a business in the 2000s. I ran a business up in London. We became, arguably you’d say, one of the best leadership development firms in Europe. We did some global work, but we were based in Europe. And way before that I was an investment banker and a trader and a derivatives trader and yada, yada yada. I already told you how old I am, so I had long and checkered career, so that’s me.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:34):

Well, thank you. And the reason I’ve been wanting to have you on as a guest and really excited for the opportunity to spend some time together is about your book series. And I first got introduced to you from your book Impact and the book series that you’re starting there. And now you recently released a next edition in that series called Change Myths. For somebody who’s new to you and to this book series, I’d love for you just give a quick overview on the overall narrative you’re trying to get across through this series?

Paul Gibbons, Author (04:03):

Yeah, it’s important. Change Myths is about the management of change or which is often thought of as the way a chief executive or a department leader can affect change to 500,000, 10,000 people, get them to change their behavior, align their hearts and minds with what they’re trying to accomplish. And it’s the world of that is called change management, so narrowly the book is about change management. But the big thing that I really care about and the reason I was excited about writing Change Myths is something that people call information disorder. I won’t get political, there’s a political dimension to it. It’s like, but no matter which news you listen to, there’s a thing in our society as we accuse the other side of fake news, that’s something. We live in a world where we are deluged with information. TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, email, YouTube, newspapers if you still read them.


And the quality is extremely variable. And we used to have a sort of single point news in the 1960s and ’70s where you got your news from Walter Cronkite. And he used to say at the end, “And that’s the way it is, May 23rd, 1964.” And when he said, “That’s the way it is,” that’s the way it was. There wasn’t this kind of, he is in the tank for the Democrats or he is in the tank of the Republicans. But because we’ve democratized information, on the left there are sources like Vox and various other, and then the right, there’s Breitbart and everything like that. There’s a democratization of views and some of it isn’t very high quality, whether that’s drinking bleach to cure acute COVID, or whatever, or microchips in the vaccines or whatever there are. We have a world that’s rich in information, that’s a great thing, but partly with that richness of information comes [inaudible 00:05:54].


The question is, what do we do about that? It’s like human beings. The thing that we need to be able to do is we need to be able to parse all this using this thing up here, using critical thinking, setting aside our biases and our preferences and our ideologies and everything like that, is learning to think critically about what’s incoming. Now, in the world of change there’s a ton of BS, stuff that people essentially made up, pulled out of their backside, looks good in the PowerPoint slide, yada, yada, yada. Some of this BS are billion dollar industries. And so in the book I call out some of the things that people tell leaders to do to lead change. One of them is, create a sense of urgency, which in today’s world, if you think about it, if you step back, on the one hand, it’s like intuitively, “Okay, you got to make change urgent.”


But if you step back in today’s world, well, how much more urgent does it need to be? Are there anybody in a big corporation sitting there in their hammock smoking a cigar and, “Oh, what am I going to do with the extra 30 hours a week I have,” and whatever? Nobody’s living their lives like that. Wherever you are in an organization, whether you’re a chief executive, whether you’re an entry level employee, life’s already urgent for you, life starts to become urgent in college. That’s something that people say that’s kind of orthodox change management, leadership guidance, “Make it urgent.” And it’s a crock. And if everything is urgent, nothing is urgent.


Now, Stephen Covey, who you may be a fan of, I think he was one of the OG great writers on personal development, used to split things into urgent and important. And things that are urgent aren’t always important, and things that are important, looking after your kids, looking after your diet, looking after your ex, managing time, meditating, do yoga, whatever your thing is, the important things should never be at the mercy of the urgent things. And so anyway, that’s some BS that I call out in the book, but more importantly, in society we need to be able to parse all this stuff that’s coming in and think critically about like, “Oh, my intuition says that’s right, but what does the evidence say? What does logic tell me?” And so anyway, that’s what the book’s about.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:56):

In chapter five in Change Myths you talk about science, pseudoscience and non-science, so it’s kind of in this direction you’re going.

Paul Gibbons, Author (08:04):


Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:04):

And so, I’d love for you just to talk a little bit about the differences between those three and why leaders should even care about this and how they might differentiate. How do you even know the difference? How can you tell?

Paul Gibbons, Author (08:17):

Well, I mean, there’s a lot of voodoo in the business world. Back when I was a new age kind of guy in the 1990s, everybody was, The Celestine Prophecy and all that stuff. And I drank that Kool-Aid hard baby, hard, hard, hard. We used to do things like we ran a drumming workshop for a group of 200 people who are IT executives. We use a labyrinth, which is supposed to reveal some deep inner secret about what you’re doing. Now, this all sounds really wacky to me now, but the fact of the matter is, corporations pay for that stuff. They still pay for that stuff. They’re looking desperately. The job of running a business is extremely hard. It’s socially complex, because you’re dealing with human beings and groups of human beings who may be dead against what you’re trying to accomplish. And it’s also technically complex, the problems we have to solve at business prep, they’re technically hard.


What strategies should I pursue? What markets should I pursue? What should my pricing be? Which customers or segment should I go after? And what’s the way to get my message in front of this customer segment? It’s technically and socially a super complex enterprise, and there are no crystal clear cookie cutter recipe book answers. Much as all of the gurus with all of their books would like to say is, “This is the one thing you have to do that will unlock.” And it ain’t like that. I wish it was, right? We all wish it was that simple. And so I wanted to combat some of that woo-woo that finds itself into leadership and management world.


The question is, and it’s some questions, why is astrology pseudoscience and astronomy a science, what’s the difference between them? And the answer is, if you took ninth grade sciences, one of them you can test what you think about the world. In astronomy we can test, we can perform experiments. How far away is that? And how far is light traveling, and yada yada yada and all of that? And what’s the masses of planet? Is it got water on it, has it got rocks? You can do all that scientifically, you can test it empirically. And if I test it and some guy in Peking tests it, we ought to be coming up with the same results. So that’s what to say.


But astrology and say you can test whether being born in the 8th of October, as I was, if that predisposes a certain fate or personality. And the fact is, you can test that. You can take a ton of guys who were born in October the eighth, and you can see, okay, what do they have in common? Well, not too much. And people always say when astrology is like, “Oh, you’re a Pisces.” Arthur C. Clarke, a science fiction writer used to say this. He says, “I don’t believe in astrology. I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.”


But there’s an interesting thing, so you can test it. And then also people go, if they get a four … Say you look at your horse cup today, it’s like say it’s October, I’ll leave it, or something like that. And they say, “Today your inspirational message, [inaudible 00:11:07] forts the world and this is going to be a very special day for you.” Now that is the sort of thing I love to hear. And if you think about the temperaments that people say about astrology, they say, “Libras are wise and they’re balanced and they’re thinking and they’re great with people.” We love hearing this stuff. And then if you’re testing that hypothesis, you think, “Oh yeah, that’s right. My girlfriend over there, she’s a Libra, and she sure is that way.”


But if you look in the world the way Libras are supposed to be balanced and equanimous and great with people and really concerned with the humanity or whatever you say about, you can look for examples that confirmation bias that, or you can say, you can go on the internet and go, “All right, what are some favorite Libras that were jerks?” And so you can also look and say, “Who are the Libras that are structured well?” We’ve got Vladimir Putin, for example, happens to be, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot. Those are Libras. So, you really got to get around your confirmation bias. So, that’s that.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:08):

I think just even sometimes seeing a chapter title or a section in the chapter that talks about this idea of what you’re sharing, science, pseudoscience, non-science, just to get thinking about it, just to apply some critical thought to it, I think just opens your eyes. Just that awareness helps of saying, “Well, is this real? What questions can I ask?” And you have a great little chart there about questions to ask. As you had mentioned or alluded to, can this be tested? Can we validate results and so on? Basically scientific method that we’re talking about here.

Paul Gibbons, Author (12:38):

And one thing for your listeners, which might be useful, there’s one really, really simple thing, having said that there are no simple recipe books. Try and think of a counter example. I gave one of astrology, your confirmation bias will say that Sagittarius are dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. And you can think of your friend James who’s got all of those qualities. Go on the internet and Google some other Sagittarius, famous Sagittarius. Do they have those qualities? And you inevitably find that there’s no relationship between the day that you were born and your personality and your destiny and your faith, everything like that. Who knew, right? But the thing is, I have people in my thing who are very educated people, bachelor’s degrees and PhD, they talk about, “Well, I’m a Libra and this isn’t the right time of month for me to be taking risks.” Oh, if you say so.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:28):

Well, one of the things I wanted to talk about is specifically I remember in Impact and having gone through that and some of your other writings, you talk about this word agile, and I hear agile used a lot in technology circles. And going through that, first off, what is it, and is it something that can be applied just to general business practice for leaders to implement?

Paul Gibbons, Author (13:50):

Small businesses generally are by design. If you’ve got 10 or 20 or 30 people, it’s fairly easy to be agile. But the way we learned to run big businesses was from the church and the military. Those were the first a 100,000-person organizations, 500, 1,000 years ago when we began to scale humanity, if you want, to big businesses and big corporations and big militaries. And that’s what we learned. And we learned about hierarchy. We learned about clearly defined roles and responsibilities. We learned about staying in your lane, we learned about chain of command, we learned about all of those things. And they are really, really useful. They’re really, really useful for systematizing output. Having trains run on time. They’re really, really good at that.


Where they’re really, really crap is that the outside world is changing like crazy. And then all of these written down rules, responsibilities, chain of command, structured hierarchies, structured reporting lines, teams that are … None of that is very helpful when you’re trying to respond to a disruption in the market space, or try to disrupt it yourself.


And so that’s the notion of agile. And there’s a more specific smaller notion of agile is the way that you run change. The way we used to run change in business is say you want to put in a new CRM system, you want to do Salesforce, and you’ve got a big old company and you got 10,000 salespeople and you’re a 100,000-person company and everything. We want to put Salesforce in, probably cost you 25 to 50 million. I don’t know what the sticker price is for Salesforce, was in that region. And you want to get this change driven through. And one of the ways that we used to do things is we used to have these elaborate project plans that we stretch out for 18 months. What do we know about plans that stretch out for 18 months? They’re full of baloney.


The world doesn’t work that way. The world doesn’t just because you write something down on a piece of paper. What do you say? Woody Allen used to say, “Go make God laugh, tell him your plans.” So agile is smaller, faster cycles that produce customer value really fast. And they don’t get it perfect, perfect, perfect. They have this concept called MVP, minimum viable prototype, is you get something in front of the customer and then iterate, iterate, iterate, improve, improve, improve, improve, improve. And so that sounds obvious, like, “Oh, of course that’s the way you do things.” But that’s not the way we did things. In the ’80s and the ’90s and the ’70s and we didn’t do things that way. We had research and development who was developing things on a three to five year timescale, that sort of thing. And that ain’t fast enough today. That ain’t fast enough today. So there you are. Anyway, that’s agile.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:20):

Thank you very much. And one of the things I really appreciate in your writing and your books is you really have, I think a philosophical approach and point of view in writing. In addition to facts and evidence and research and all of the other things, you do a great job of interweaving these together. When I think of philosophy, it’s pretty abstract. How does that apply or couple in with some of these in your books, very practical applicable things? How do you blend that together or as a leader make sense of it?

Paul Gibbons, Author (16:51):

That’s a hard one, man. When people think of philosophy, they think about that scene in the movie Animal House. Have you seen Animal House, right?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:58):


Paul Gibbons, Author (16:58):

And they’re sitting in the professor’s dorm room and they’re smoking a joint and they’re going, “Wow, could the universe be, could each atom in my fingernail be an entire universe?” And philosophy and big, deep questions like, “What’s the meaning of life?” And they’re the questions you have supposedly when you’re a college sophomore. And by the time you grow up, you stop asking questions about purpose and about meaning and about vision. “Grow up buddy, earn a living.” And we tend to shelve some of those questions that got left in the sophomore dorm room. That’s one aspect of philosophy is questions of meaning. What do I want to leave behind? What’s my legacy? How do I want to be remembered?


And so that’s the sort of practical work a day philosophy. But there’s also a philosophy 2,000 years old has began to ask questions like, “What’s real and what’s not real? What’s true and what’s not true? How do you know what you know? How do you know what you know? You say that X is true, but why should I believe you? Why should I trust you?” And so these questions begin to dip into the realm of business. Now, the realm of business grew up with psychology growing up alongside it. So, business is full of ton of psychologists. It doesn’t have a whole bunch of philosophers in it. If you’re a philosopher in business, probably three of us. Another question the philosophy tries to answer is, what is good and what is bad? And I mean that from an ethical standpoint. How do I know the correct way to behave? What’s the correct way to behave?


Famous example, Johnson & Johnson with the Tylenol in the 1980s, I believe it was the 1980s. I may get the exact facts of this thing wrong, but it’s a very famous example in business ethics. Tylenol’s one of their biggest products. There’s a lot of Tylenol on the shelves in the United States right now, and someone had poisoned some Tylenol and the people who took this tainted Tylenol died. And that’s a pretty bad thing to have to deal with as a company.


And a lot of companies do that the wrong way. They go into the spin machine, for example, Johnson & Johnson gave an example of fantastic business ethics. They stepped up to the plate, they got it all off the shelves. They said, “We’re going to be accountable and recompense the people who’ve been injured by this. We’re going to triple up our security and our safety measure, so this will never ever happen again. And we’re going to pay what we need to pay to make this right.”


Rather than trying to a boxer on the ropes, like rope-a-dope and all of that kind of stuff, they stepped up. I’d say, man up, but that’s very gendered. But they took it on the chin and they did the right thing. And they’re an example. Now, if you take Wells Fargo by comparison, which are opening fake accounts for people, it’s like, “Hey, I don’t know. I had six checking accounts, all that, I’m paying a fee on each one. How about that?” When they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, and there are plenty of examples. There’s Enron and there’s Volkswagen and there’s the FIFA world sporting authority for soccer and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. There’s, we have one of these every three to six months there’s some ethical scandal in business.


They play rope-of-dope. They got the public relations people in, they got the lawyers in and saying, “How can we defend ourselves here? How can we defend our business interests? How do we control those risks?” And okay, those are questions to write, but they didn’t ask the question, “How do we do the right thing by the people that we’ve harmed?” And they spent all this time worrying about brand and reputation. How do you do the right thing? Anyway, so that’s another way where that philosophy dips its fingers in the business is, how do you begin to make those decisions, those hard calls? Because the toughest ethical decisions aren’t always the one clear right way. You’re often weighing things. In Johnson & Johnson’s case, “It’s going to cost us a ton of money, more money than we’ve ever had to spend ever before and anything in our lives.”


On the other hand, and that sounds like a bad thing to do, if you’re a corporation, terrible thing, why would we spend a $100 billion, whatever it’s going to cost, right? On the other hand, the ethics of the situation is frequently these right versus right trade-offs. And I often think that if you’re a business leader and you’re not thinking about problems, not every problem is an ethical problem, but over the course of a month, there will be a few. And if you’re often thinking like, unless you have that lens for looking at things like, “What’s right here? Not what’s expedient, not what’s commercially viable, but what’s the right thing to do in accord with my principles and my values and my stand in the world and how I’d want to be remembered?” And those are more difficult. That makes life more complicated. God knows, we don’t need that, right? But it turns out to be the right thing to do, I think. So anyway, that’s my shtick.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:43):

I appreciate it. And I recently finished my doctorate degree and did my doctoral thesis all orienting around virtuous business and how you measure this and how that can be applied from virtue ethics and taking a look into that.

Paul Gibbons, Author (21:58):

You should send me a copy of it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:59):

You got it. You got it. Well, Paul, this is a great time in the show where we make the transition and we ask every guest the same four questions before they go. And the first is, have you had a miss or two in your career and something you learned from it?

Paul Gibbons, Author (22:12):

God knows I’ve had a lot of misses. One of the decisions I made early in my career was to abandon a career as a doctor and go to work on Wall Street. Why did I do that? I wanted to make some cheddar. And we quickly decided, discovered that after six years or seven years of making what they call today, the children call Fat Stacks. And I did make Fat Stacks. I may, trade three years old I was making a few million dollars a year, right? I mean, okay, that’s not tons and tons by some of today’s startup, Bitcoins founders, Satoshi Nakamoto, or whatever. It’s not huge by that. It’s a lot of money when you’re a kid. I had a brand new $100,000 sports car and everything like that. I was miserable. Miserable, miserable, miserable.


Here I was, all this money. And when you have a lot of money and you’re unhappy, it’s actually worse. You know why? You say, “I have all this dough. I have all this success. I’m a director of Bang, and I’m 23 years old. Why do I feel like a piece of turd? Why am I unhappy?” And so that provokes some really important existential questions like, “What am I here to do? What’s my superpower? What gets me up in the morning and gets me juicing out of bed?” Anyway, I became a management consultant. Someone would say that to step down, not to step up.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:22):

You reach a point of financial income or what have you, and you start looking around and say, “Well, I can buy all the toys. Whatever I want, I can afford. Why do I have some emptiness, or feel lost,” or whatever that might be? As we look at the miss, let’s look on the other side, a make or two, you’ve got a great decorated career.

Paul Gibbons, Author (23:41):

Oh, well, my little business that I founded was a home run. We scaled super, super, super, super, fast. Partly is serendipity being the right place at the right time. But partly some of the things I did super well, well, I hired exceptionally good people. One of the people who had worked for me when I stumbled upon serendipitously, but just thought, “I had to hire this guy.” And my CFO said, “You don’t have enough money.” I said, “We’re hiring him. We can’t walk past this guy.” He’s a cabinet minister now at the age of, I don’t know, he’s older now, but he became a cabinet minister when he was 43 years old. He’s an accomplished guy. And I was fortunate and serendipitous, lucky enough to have these people cross my paths. And perhaps lucky enough to be a reasonable judge of they talk about hot hand in the talent scouting world.


I wouldn’t like to say I have a particular eye for talent. We used to say that. I had this conversation with my boss at IBM. Can I spot them? And you don’t want to think I have this superpower where I can … But anyway, in some instances I was either lucky or clever. And the business scaled very fast. And we were working for the biggest companies in Europe doing all their important leadership development stuff. And it was an immensely successful company before I sold it. I mean, still a immensely successful company. I’d say that’s the thing.


And then also, I got lucky with my first book. I’d never written a book before. I was 63 years old. I was like, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” And the problem is there’s so much rubbish written in the book world. I thought I’d never want to … I don’t think I could write a book that I would want to read. I mean, it would be easy for me to write some facile … I think there are 10,000 books on leadership published a year. I mean, someone fact check me on that, but there’s a ton. And they ain’t all good, I guarantee you that, so I didn’t want to write one of those. I didn’t want to waste my time and I didn’t want to add to the stack of rubbishy leadership books. I got lucky. I wrote a book that became a bestseller in change. So, I worked very hard at it, but right place, right time.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:46):

Well, let’s talk about a multiplier and something you’ve used to multiply your success.

Paul Gibbons, Author (25:52):

Well, there’s one thing I’ve been doing consistently since I wrote, read Stephen Covey’s book in 1993 and 1994, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Those first three habits are, from my point of view, there’s gold. I forgot exactly what they were. Every week I sit down and laboriously plan my week. Now, do I get to everything? No. Do I do everything when I say I’m going to do it? No, no, no. I’m not a robot, right? But I have, this time I said I saw either on Sunday night or Monday morning, what are the big, big things that I want to accomplish? The big rocks. You know the big rock story?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:28):

Yes, yes-

Paul Gibbons, Author (26:31):

You do?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:31):

Share it please, but share it for the audience here if they’re-

Paul Gibbons, Author (26:32):

All right, well, I got to try to recall it. There’s a professor, he’s in front of the class and everything like that. He’s got this big urn, this big huge glass urn, like a milk urn. And he puts in these big rocks like this, and he turns to the class, he says, “Is this full?” And the class goes, “Yeah, sure it i, all the way up to the top.”


And then he takes some pebbles and something and he pours that in and it fills in thing. He says, “Now, is it full?” And he go, “Yeah, yeah, it’s full.” And then he takes some sand and pulls that in. He says, “Now is it full?” And they say, “Now it’s really full.” And he pours in some water. And the thing, so what that got to do with time management, that’s a bizarre story. And something like that is, if you hadn’t put the big rocks in first, it wouldn’t have worked. The big rocks go in first.


And so if you think about that, and the way you’re planning your week is like, “What are the big rocks? What are the things I absolutely can’t miss that I must accomplish?” And we all are human beings, we’ll have 30 things on our to-do list. How many do you have? I mean, in the morning, 30, 40, 50, right? You have a lot you want to get done in a week, but what are the three or four things I most wanted? One of the things I’ve always done since I read that book was be really clear about what are the two or three most important things that I absolutely don’t want to miss. And the coach of, was there a coach in the Dallas Cowboys? Did they have a coach called Tom Landry?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:48):


Paul Gibbons, Author (27:48):

Am I right?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:48):


Paul Gibbons, Author (27:48):

Am I right there?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:48):


Paul Gibbons, Author (27:50):

I don’t follow sports. But anyway, he apparently used to have a stack of three by five index cards. And when he woke up in the morning he used to pull a fresh one off the stack, and he used to write down, “Three things I absolutely want to do today.” Just three. Just three. And he carried it with him in his pocket and pulled it out in the middle of the day. Put it back, these three things. That was his practice. Focusing on what matters most is something that I think I’ve been relatively good at. That aspect of time management. And if you’re reading, I’ve read this, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there are a 100,000 self-help books out there and is for sure for my money Top 10.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (28:31):

No, I echo that sentiment. I think it’s phenomenal, phenomenal book, especially when you apply the principles taught within it, it makes a huge, huge difference. Well, Paul, the final question we ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?

Paul Gibbons, Author (28:46):

Well, I already told you, it doesn’t mean about making Fat Stacks. Not anymore. We all want to have enough, drive a nice car and have a nice house and have enough to go on vacation and put the kids through college. One of the things I learned hard was that enough is enough, and how to have an idea what’s enough. It’s not that. And what it is doing is doing things that only I can uniquely do. I have a varied background, is trying to find out what my superpower is. I think one of my superpowers is writing, and I only really discovered it in my 50s. I love doing it. I seem to be good at it. And so the more of that that I can do and the less other distractions from that, the happier I am. And that’s what makes me happy in life. And coincidentally, I can make a little money while I’m doing it. And so I put, if you want, purpose, I don’t say happiness, but I put purpose first. I think that’s important. I think your readers, think about purpose and putting purpose first.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (29:43):

And I will echo that sentiment. I think you are an excellent writer and your books are fun to read. They’re hard subjects, you have a lot of dense content that you make easy to understand. And I think they’re pretty, at some points, cheeky or jovial mixed throughout. It’s entertaining while digging into it. Speaking of which, how can people get connected with you? Buy some copies of your books? Where can they go to make that happen?

Paul Gibbons, Author (30:11):

I have four major books that are out there. And the easiest place to find me is my Amazon author page. Three of them are in this stuff that we’ve been talking about change. One of them is called The Spirituality of Work and Leadership, which is about some of these ethical ideas on leadership. And a lot of people who are concerned with ethics want to look towards spirituality as a guide for what’s right, look for spirituality as a guide to what my purpose might be. I don’t have a dog in the hunt, I don’t have a particular thing that I want to recommend to everybody like, “You should, I’ll become a Buddhist,” or any kind of BS like that. But whatever your path is, it should inform who you are as a leader. So, that’s another book, so there’s four of those there.


And then I have a website and a mailing list, And I don’t spam people, but twice a year I’ll send out a newsletter and say, “Hey, I got a new book, or here’s some cool stuff I found,” and everything like that. So Please hit me up on LinkedIn, listeners, very happy to be connected with people. And that’s it. That’s me.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:06):

Well, Paul, thank you so much. We’ll make sure we have those links in the show notes. And just really grateful for your time. Thank you so much for being here.

Paul Gibbons, Author (31:13):

Thank you. Thank you very much, Tom.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:16):

Paul, thank you so much for a fantastic interview and for being our guest today. And let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. Takeaway number one is when Paul was talking about information disorder, where essentially we have so much information to see and view that it’s easy to get confused or lost in all of that. And so he said, “We need to make sure we’re thinking critically about these topics and using our own mind to make decisions. To be thinking about and processing all of that information.”


Takeaway number two is when he gave some Change Myth examples. One such being, creating a sense of urgency or describes certain things as being a little “voodoo”, where he shared, “If you can’t essentially apply the scientific method to it, you really want to think critically or maybe be cautious on that.”


Takeaway number three is when he described business as having many psychologists in the field, but not a lot of philosophers. And that philosophy is important in business. And now it’s time for today’s win-win. Today’s win-win is really digging back into this idea of philosophy and business. And he asked questions that you should ask yourself. For example, “What’s right here? What is the right thing to do according to my principles, values, and how I want to be remembered in the world?”


And one of the things that I’m always reminded of is the origin of modern day capitalism or free market economies comes from Adam Smith and his book The Wealth of Nations that was published in 1776. What most people don’t know is that Adam Smith was a Scottish philosopher and one of his big successful books and ideas before that is called The Theory of Moral Sentiments. And the Theory of Moral Sentiments talks about how to treat people, how to do business, a lot of the how-tos and why answers a lot of these questions. And so his book, the Wealth of Nations, was built upon the premise that there was this theory of moral sentiments.


And he uses the term sympathy throughout that book. And really what we view today in modern terms is the phrase empathy and really trying to see things from the other person’s perspective and understanding how they might be thinking or feeling and going through that. So to me, that is the win-win here, to be in alignment or being centered on what are those values, those principles, those things that you want to be remembered by when you’re making your decision?


And so that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone might be ready to franchise their business, or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.