002 – Vince Fowler & The Problem with Grit

002 – Vince Fowler & The Problem with Grit

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What's this episode all about?

Welcome to Episode #2, where we’re going to dig into the topic of personal power and explore it from a few different angles, including a bit of a dissection of the idea of “grit”.

A hyper-focus on Personal Power is often the basis for my criticisms of mainstream self help and self improvement authors and frameworks. Of course, Personal Power is a critical element of how we interact with the world and develop relationships with people. And we can’t pretend that people aren’t responsible for their own power, because if we do that then how can we think about accountability, freedom and choice? But ignoring the complexity and nuances of the other types of power, whether it’s the role that you find yourself in or whether or not you belong to a marginizalixed group is equally unhelpful

The key, of course, and something that we’ll be exploring in this podcast, is to understand how personal power interacts with the other types of power to create a power dynamic or power differential, so that we can clearly take ownership and responsibility over what’s ours, and have other people, or systems or institutions, take responsibility for what’s theirs. 

In the first portion of this show Jeff deconstructs a TED talk by Angela Duckworth that has over 18 000 000 views. Jeff uses examples of how utilizing the argument that “you’re 100% responsible for what happens in your life” is both dangerously wrong and unhelpful. Jeff also speaks to his own experiences working with street involved youth and how they are some of the most grittiest individuals he will ever meet. 

In the second part of the show (16:30) Vince Fowler and Jeff have a wide ranging conversation about Vince’s personal experiences with grit and how his personal and professional journey has led him to be a coach for entrepreneurs. Vince speaks about how his experience serving with the Canadian Military in Somalia was his MBA, his experiences as a competitive rugby player taught him about adversity and power, and how parenting continues to teach him about reflection. 

Jeff and Vince discuss many topics, including; 

  • Approaches and responsibilities around self care and offer concrete examples of how health care professionals are sometimes falling short in this area.
  • The importance of reflection and Vince offers up a great tool labeled the polarity loop.
  • Their experiences of how debrief is an under-utilized tool on an organizational level and where the scarcity of time is not an excuse and getting in the way.
  • What makes Vince tick and his vision and mission (helping small business owners live a life on their terms). 
  • How asking yourself the dangerous question “what is wrong with me”, will lead you into shame. 

Show Notes & Resources

  1. Check out Angela Duckworth’s full TED Education talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance
  2. Need a business coach? Vince Fowler is your guy. Learn more about him at http://www.vincefowler.ca/
  3. Learn more about The Right Use of Power: http://www.rightuseofpower.org
  4. This article does a nice job of highlighting some of the issues that I have with “grit” becoming a simplified, mainstream idea in our education systems. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-limits-of-grit

Podcasts to listen to:

Tom Bilyeu – Impact Theory – https://impacttheory.com/

Dr. Gundry – https://drgundry.com/the-dr-gundry-podcast/

Books Vince mentions:

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson

Mindset: The New Pyschology of Success by Carol Dweck

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