Masterclass on Personal Effectiveness – Bret Nelson (#013)

Masterclass on Personal Effectiveness - Bret Nelson (#013)

Talking with Bret Nelson today has been like taking a masterclass in personal effectiveness. He’s the director of sales excellence for IHS Market and is responsible for developing leaders. He is a certified human capital strategist and holds a master of organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.

In his consulting practice, he works with his clients in areas of organizational leadership, strategy, sales, business agility, and personal and team effectiveness.

When he is not coaching leaders and professionals, he enjoys living out his dream of being the world's greatest dad and spending time outdoors with family and friends.

Show Notes

Contact Bret Nelson


HIS Markit -

Carol Dweck -

Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

Paula Newby-Fraser -

“OCS” means the “Other-Centered Selling” training program –


Bobbi’s Takeaways from the Interview

I really hope that you enjoyed Brett's passion and his enthusiasm for the topic. I know I did. Here are my key takeaways.

  • Say yes to those opportunities that give you energy, even if it's a stretch, because it will cause us to learn and grow. I absolutely love that. This is how Brett chooses his projects.
  • Really seek to cultivate a mindset, which helps us to believe that we can learn our way through it versus the fixed mindset, which tells us that if it's not perfect the first time, then we'll never be good at it. That is a flawed way of seeing it.
  • Sustained duplicated efforts will get you to your goal and give you a sense of momentum, which will then heighten your intrinsic motivation.
  • If you find yourself in the throes of an emotional hijacking, you can try two things to get out of it.
    • Option number one: breathe. Take a deep breath. Science tells us that our brains need oxygen. When we are stressed or emotional, taking that moment or two to really breathe deeply will allow us to restore some of the equilibrium option.
  • Option number two. Actively go to a place of gratitude in your mind. If you want to know more about the power of gratitude, there are a ton of resources. One of my favorites is Barbara Fredrickson. As she has done a lifetime of research on the power of positive emotions and how they contribute to resilience, wellbeing, and health, and her work is absolutely amazing. She offers a course on Positive Psychology on Coursera (appears to be free).

  • It is easy to lose hope when you are caught up in the grind. A key to getting out of that is to recognize that you're caught up in it and to take a step back and to give yourself a little bit of grace. It's okay.
  • He talked about his framework that he teaches leaders and others.The first component is clarity. I love that he spoke of this as a direction versus a blueprint. Sometimes we don't have the blueprint, but we know the general direction of where we want to go. Then we can fill in the details as they emerge. The second component is structure. Our brains like to create structure out of chaos. Brett also said that it is important to create structure around our critical routines. Now, to me, this is what allows us to develop the habit until it becomes reflex. Then we no longer have to think about it. This does two important things:
  1. it allows for the capacity for other disciplines and habits;

  2. it connects to something I read years ago about discipline and it's this, that everyone has like a set point of discipline. The trick is to create routines and habits that replace the need. For discipline by doing that, you can reserve your discipline for when you really, really need it.

  3. A simple example is if you're trying to eat healthier, then decide every single morning what you'll have for lunch and what you'll have for dinner. That way the decision has already been made and you won't need discipline later in the day to make a good, healthy choice. Since we're making the decision earlier in the day, it's easier because our discipline hasn't been worn down by the day yet. This is why we don't want to shop at six o'clock at night when we're exhausted, when we're tired, when we've worked a full day, and we're starving. Our discipline is not going to be at the highest.

  • The third component to Brett's framework is growth. He said, wire yourself for growth by choosing opportunities that will not just allow you to grow, but maybe force you to grow and to cultivating the right mindset, the growth mindset.

We've referenced growth mindset on other episodes, but if you want to learn more about the growth mindset, why it's important and how to cultivate it, check out Carol Dweck and her research. It is mind blowing.

These were just some of my takeaways. My hope is that an episode like this one will give you tangible ideas that you can try out for yourself. If you found this podcast helpful, please consider subscribing as well as leaving us a five-star review below. Reviews are one of the key ways that we can get our message out there. If you know someone who could benefit from the podcast and the message that we're spreading, please tell them about it.

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