Unlocking The Dance Of Leadership: A Virtual Campfire Conversation With Dr. Gary Crotaz
There are a lot of parallels between dance and leadership that most of us aren’t aware of. Today’s guest is Dr. Gary Crotaz, the host of The Unlock Moment, who went from the world of competitive ballroom dancing to the realm of coaching, leadership, and podcasting. Uncover the parallels between dance and effective leadership as Gary delves into the intricacies of connection, rhythm, and evolution. Join the conversation as Gary unfolds the wisdom gained from his experiences and his fascinating podcast, The Unlock Moment. Discover the transformative power of aligning with others, just like synchronized dancers moving in harmony. Gary's insights go beyond the conventional leadership advice, offering a refreshing perspective on the constant evolution required in meaningful conversations. Tune in for a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of leadership, connection, and the dance that happens when two minds meet!
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Unlocking The Dance Of Leadership: A Virtual Campfire Conversation With Dr. Gary Crotaz
It is my pleasure to introduce my guest, Dr. Gary Crotaz. He is an executive coach, award-winning author, keynote speaker, and the host of the hit leadership podcast The Unlock Moment. He was formerly a doctor, a professional dancer, and a senior retail executive. When it comes to personal growth and transformation, he ticked most of the boxes. As a coach, Gary has worked with highly talented people in over 25 countries, from business owners and executives to entrepreneurs, sports people, and creatives.
Unlocking their potential to achieve extraordinary goals is what he does. Gary has been ranked the Thinkers 360 number two thought leader and a LinkedIn Top Voice for Executive Coaching. His book, The IDEA Mindset was named Coaching Book of the Year by Henley Business School. He has been featured in the Telegraph, the Sunday Times, Stylus Magazine, the Metro, Forbes, and the list goes on. He regularly speaks at festivals, conferences, and events.
In 2023, Gary was welcomed into the prestigious New York-based 100 Coaches Agency, an invite-only network of the world's most experienced in-demand executive coaches brought together by the world-renowned coach, Marshall Goldsmith. He lives in the UK with his wife, Mildred, and two Pomeranians, Mochi and Bean Sprout. We're going to hat-tip for those two beautiful little dogs. I want to welcome you to the show, Gary.
It is fantastic to be here. Thank you so much for the invitation. As we talked about before we started, I've had a day of hearing you in my head because you very kindly came on the Unlock Moment and I've been editing our episodes. I've heard you in slow motion pretty much half the day. It's very exciting to get the real Tony.
Thank you so much for having me on your show. I can't wait to listen to our conversation again because you go through these conversations on podcasts then you want to listen back and say, “What did I say? What did we create together?” These conversations are co-created.
It's a great episode. Your Unlock Moment is one of the ages.
Thank you. Now we get to turn the tables and hear from Gary about what his journey has been like. As we do on the show, we uncover people's journeys to becoming who they are through what's called flash points. These are points in your journey that ignited our gifts into the world. In a moment, I'm going to turn it over to you, Gary. You're going to share the moments that have defined who you are. You can share what you're called to share and pause along the way, and we'll see what themes are showing up. You can start, whether it's childhood or out of order. I've had everyone share many different things that have been powerful. I can't wait to hear more about your journey, Gary.
It's very interesting. Thank you for the invitation. I deliberately didn't prepare anything for this conversation because I wanted to see where it would go. As you said that, I thought, “I know where I want to start and I know that more probably in the last six months than I've known for a long time.” That is right back at the beginning pretty much when I was four years old.
I grew up in a very normal family. I grew up in the South of England. When I was four, I had two older brothers, slightly older than me. I was taken to my first ballroom dancing class by my parents. In the town that I grew up in, many of the kids, boys and girls, went to ballroom dancing classes. This was in the latter half of the 1970s to early 1980s.
When we were taken to dancing classes, it was still slightly of the era when my parents had learned to dance socially and at school as was the case in those times. Still, it was something that a lot of people learned to do because it was good social skills and musical skills. It was probably about five years from when I first started to learn to dance before one of my dance teachers said, “We should get you a dancing partner, and let me introduce you to the idea of dance competitions.”
From the age of nine, I started going to dance competitions. I would go out on the floor in my white shirt and black bow tie and dance the wall, cha-cha, or the jive. It was the thing that we did outside of school. The school was quite nice to me. I was good at a very broad range of subjects but when we came home from school in the evenings, we would go to dance practice, or we would go to dance competitions on the weekends.
I was successful. My partners and I were good. Never the very best but good. I carried on doing it through to university. When I went to university, I went to medical school because, at some point, I'd figured out that the thing that I wanted to go do was to train to become a doctor. Interestingly, I wasn't one of those people who felt a vocation that felt, “That is the only thing I could ever consider doing.” It was one of a variety of things I could have done.
It was the thing that people who had success at school that I was privileged to have, so I went on and did it. I went to medical school. Partway through my medical training, when you start traveling, going to hospitals, and doing your rotations, it's not possible anymore to commit to a dancing partnership. Probably around the age of 22, I hung up my dancing shoes. It's a thing that I did. It's a big part of my life growing up.
In my parents' house, we have cupboards full of trophies from my childhood exploits. I thought that's the chapter closed. Fast forward about five years, I was working in my first job. I got to my late 20s. I had decided that medicine wasn't for me late in my journey. I'd been at medical school for seven years of eight doing a PhD along the way. About a year from the end, I suddenly went, “I don't have to do this if I don't want to.” That was a thought that came into my head.
That is a pivotal moment but as I'm telling this story, I'm telling the dance thread, which maybe, this is part of our conversation. Maybe that's more important. I was in my first job. I went to London. I worked for one of the strategy consulting firms, a management consulting, working in a lot of different industries. In that first job, I remember sitting at my desk and there was a girl that I'd met a couple of times before we crossed paths at different things.
She called me at my desk and said, “I'm a dancer in the university circuit. I’m just finishing. We're doing this little competition at the university for people first learning to dance and doing competition. What we do is we bring some people who used to dance at the university to be their opponents in the competition so everyone can get to know what a dance competition is like. Would you be my partner to be one of those alumni couples?” I went, “I think I know where my dance shoes are. As long as we could hire a squash court and do a little bit of practice for the competition, why not? I’m not doing anything else. It might be fun.”
We won that competition. It was very a small competition, but we did win it. We enjoyed it. We went, “Shall we go to a dance practice? Maybe we should book a lesson with your coach. Maybe we'll do another dance practice.” Eventually, we went, “Why don't we go into a proper competition to see whether we can get somewhere?” When I came back to dancing at the age of 28, I could not remember what any of the steps were called. I couldn't remember any of their technique, but like riding a bike, I could dance but I didn't know what I was doing. They said, “What's that thing you've done?” I was like, “I don't know, but you can do one of these things and it goes like this.” They went, “That's a slip pivot. That's a double reverse turn. That's an open Telemark.” I said, “Interesting. I vaguely remember that.”
That little dance competition, that practice, that dance lesson turned into a ten-year amateur then a professional full dancing career with Mildred then we got married. We spent ten years of our life training together, competing together, traveling together, and together together. Also, for quite a significant proportion of it working together in the same company.
About as full-on, like about 24/7 in each other's companies as you can possibly imagine. Through that time, it sparked in me. I'm telling you this live, this is not a rehearsed thing. It sparked in me a passion and a depth of commitment to dance, to be a dancer, and to embody the identity of a dancer that I'd ever had when I was growing up. When you are a child, a teenager, or a young adult dancing, it's not the same. You are doing technical steps, adjacent to a partner.
You're not musical. You're not artistic because you're just not that sophisticated and you'll think about it. Maybe you're thinking about it yet. I don't think we had that straight away either. It started to come maybe halfway through that journey, so about five years in. I remember exactly where I was when we decided to go to Italy. We were living in South London, a mile down the road. We moved to this location and it was a mile down the road from the main studio. Every night in the week, we would try to get to the studio and practice in the evenings while also working in consulting businesses.
We were doing 60 hours a week at work, and every night, trying to get to train because we were trying to compete against the best there were. We had danced at one of the major international championships that happened in the UK for at least three years or maybe four years in a row. Each time, we had a disappointing result. We came back one time from this big championship and I remember sitting with Mildred. We looked and said, “We don't want to do that again. If that's how it's going to be, then we're done.” We're not motivated to work hard, and go next year and have the same level of disappointment because we've had that experience, and ticked that experience off in our life log.
We have two choices. We either say, “We’ll retire.” I was early 30s and she was late 20s, or we figured out what these international couples were doing. What was happening was we were turning up in these big competitions in the UK. The couples were coming over from Russia, China, Scandinavia, Italy, and the US. Particularly from Russia and Italy, they were incredible dancers. They were musical, technical, athletic, fast, and flexible. They were doing things that we couldn't imagine doing, on balance, at pace, and coordinated. It was incredible watching it.
We started to ask around and said, “Where are they training? Where are they learning to do that because we're in the UK and we're learning from the very best in the world?” All of the old world champions in ballroom dancing came from the UK. That's where the whole thing grew up. We were training with the very best and yet, we don't look like that. We don't dance like that.
We sat and Mildred picked up the phone to Davide Cacciari who ran an academy in a little village north of Bologna in Italy called Team Diablo. We said, “We've seen the couples that come from your school.” If you took at any time the top twelve couples in the world, he had six of them. The other six came from all over the world, but he had six of them. We said, “Can we come and see you and understand what it is you're doing?”
He said, “You can come, get a flight, and I will see you on Monday morning in two weeks’ time at 9:00 in the morning.” We said, “We have jobs.” He said, “We're not there on weekends, so if you want to come, it's Monday morning.” We took two days off work, Monday and Tuesday. We got on a flight and arrived Sunday night. We arrived on Monday and saw him in his studio.
On that first day, even in the first hour in the studio, I knew what we were missing because it was like walking into a world-class rowing academy, a world-class distance running academy, or any top elite sports academy. There was technical training, stamina training, people running up and down the street outside to stay fit, and lectures in a lecture hall. They had a separate gym, a nutrition room, and doctors who were associated with the school. They were associated with Olympic universities in Italy and did all the sports science on Olympic athletes.
We were doing an hour and a half a night in a little studio just running our own thing. We had no idea. We trained with them every month for the next five years. We had twenty days of holiday a year and we split our twenty days of holiday into two-day chunks. We never took a summer holiday. We never took a Christmas vacation.
We just said, “Every month, we’re going to take those two days. We are going to go and spend time with these people because we have to do our jobs.” It completely changed our mindset as dancers. It made us understand two things. 1) how do you become incredible at what you do? 2) that's what we want to do. We knew that we were limited to some extent in talent and a whole bunch of different things. We knew we weren't going to become world champions, but we knew that there we were going to become the best we could possibly be.
Fast forward a few years later, we retired as dancers and finished training there ten years ago. After consulting, I went into a corporate career in retail. In the pandemic, I figured out that my future was in coaching and did my professional training and retraining coaching. The bit that connects this all together is about six months ago, and I'm now in my late 40s, my coaching supervisor, who's an incredible master coach called Claire Patrick, turned around to me and said, “Where is your dancing in your coaching?”
I went, “You ask a good question,” and then I started thinking about it. I started realizing that there were so many connections between the philosophy and practicality of dance, things like balance. When we talk about balance in coaching or in work-life balance and career. I talk about balance and I know a lot about balance because I have 40 years. I know about balance, getting off balance, and coming back into balance.
I said to Claire, “You're right, I don't draw on that.” For me, and you hear in the way I've described it, I had two careers in parallel. I had medicine that turned into consulting that turned into retail that turned into coaching, then I'm a dancer. It was almost like they were two people. The one reason I'm interested is for myself, but the reason why it's interesting now is that it was obvious to me that the story I should tell you is the dance story because that is the one that is my identity.
Even though I was a good dancer. We were good dancers, but I would never call myself a great dancer because I know many great dancers and we were not a patch on them. However, it is my identity. I think like a dancer and I appreciate dance. Now I’m an executive director of a major dance academy in the UK, so I stay very close to it. When I started to think about, “What do I know about coaching because my identity is a dancer?” That was a very interesting conversation.
I love your idea of sparks because there were sparks through that journey, but there was a spark when Claire Patrick said to me, “Where's your dancing in your coaching?” It has opened up something that I feel like I have only just started to figure out. I came back to her. I sent her an email a few days after that and I said, “When you dance with a partner, it's 5 or 7 points of connection between the two bodies. Your left hand, your body, your leg, the man's right wrist and hand. What were those five points of connection?”
I said, “I wonder whether there are five points of connection in a coaching conversation,” which isn't about the way we start the conversation. The process we go through in the middle and the way we end the conversation is not that because that is a process. It's more about how two humans connect in conversation. I can't remember exactly what I said, but it might turn into a book one day. It's something like the sharing of space and time like the two of us are now is a point of connection.
The tempo is a point of connection. The rhythm is a point of connection distinct from tempo. You start to think, “That's interesting,” because it takes you to a completely different place of "What questions did I ask? What answers did you give? What did I respond when you said that thing?” That's a long answer to a short question, but it is true that the biggest question I am trying to figure out in the purity and essence of coaching is, what’s the connection between dance and coaching? What do I bring to coaching because my identity is a dancer? That starts as a four-year-old going to my first ballroom dancing class.
I want to react. There are so many things I want to react to. I have to first say thank you for sharing. That was powerful. What's powerful about it on many levels is that it goes to show the power of a provocative question that a coach can bring to the table. They can have you start to challenge the very thing that you do as you show up as a human. That's nice that you brought that to the surface. On a lighter note, it's this idea that we should never put our dancing shoes away. Even if we do, what are the things that we put away that we think we're done with, but we're not quite done yet with? That's where a lot of times we think, “That was my past life. I'm done there,” but we're never done. It's part of us.
It becomes part of us and it continues to become part of who we are and our identity. That brings me to this next part which you said earlier. It’s like owning the identity. You don't have to be the best dancer in the world but you can be okay with owning your identity. “I'm a dancer and I'll always be. Even if I don't have legs to dance with, I'm always going to be a dancer.”
That's the thing. It is the distinction between things I have done, tasks I have completed, and processes I have worked through. I now embody this. How do you know that you embody? It is a good question. I fully know the answer to that. I'm involved in what I call but nobody else calls it the Rambert University. Marie Rambert was born in the late 1800s and founded her eponymous dance school and dance company in the 1920s, completely pioneering female founders in those days.
A hundred years later, school and dance companies have existed. It's the equivalent in context to Juilliard in the US. Rambert School for Contemporary Dance is similar in the UK. Rambert Dance company is similar to something like Alvin Ailey in the US. That caliber. I have the huge privilege of a performance by the students of the school doing their own choreography. When you sit in the audience, and there's a way of experiencing dance where you are a dancer, which is different from the amazement that an audience member who can't dance experiences when they observe a dancer who can dance.
It's more like you're almost with them. That's what it feels like. You're with them. You know you can't do what they do but it's more visceral. That's what I feel. It is the movement, lighting, music, timing, silence, and the accents. It's more than just the component parts, a floor, a light, a dancer, and some music. It's deeper and richer than that.
Where I think about that and maybe you hear that here. You've experienced the Unlocked Moment podcast, which is part of me figuring this out. People say to me when they listen to the Unlocked Moment, “It's not the same as a normal podcast.” I go, “No, it's not, because I'm not trying to do anything.” I am curious about people. I want to have a different conversation with them.
When people hear the conversation that we had, they hear that too. There's something about tempo. There's something about rhythm, silence, and comfort with silence. A great dancer will arrive in the middle of the stage with their arm out to the side and they can just stop. They can wait and have the audience on tenterhooks. When they're ready, they're going to do their next thing. They don't apologize for that. They go, “That's exactly what I meant to do.”
In the Unlocked Moment now, it's like, I can't dance anymore for a variety of reasons but I feel in some way and this will sound odd, but it's how I feel. I feel like the Unlocked Moment is now my dance floor. It's where I get to express this thing that I feel is instinctive in me in a way that besides my technical competence, to dance always felt instinctive to me which is what I could do with it when I couldn't remember the names of the steps.
It reminds me of the idea that everything is first created in the mind before it's created in the world. I know there's a quote that I'm paraphrasing here, but all these things are happening inside of us. The dance is how you're creating it and it doesn't have to be something that is a physicality of the body. It can be how you create the space through the conversation you're creating.
Everything is first created in the mind before it's created in the world.
I can resonate with what you're saying because I often say that there's an art form to create an artful conversation, and I'm an artist at heart, so I get that just like, dance. This is your form of creation and you go out and create these conversations. You think of it like a dance and that's great. For anyone who has a form of their own creativity, their own form of passion that they want to bring that way of creating into another platform, it's important to think in the same terms. Whatever makes you come alive, you use that in a sense. Would you agree?
I completely agree. The thing I'm thinking about is leadership, which is a complex topic and lots of people have a lot to say about it. Lots of people worry about what they're doing right. I'll tell you a story from a coaching conversation I had. There's some fascinating data from Gallup that I've been noodling on for a long time. I don't know whether you in the US have the phrase noodling.
We noodle a lot of time.
This data says that if you look at people's natural talents and strengths, and you take a random group of ten people, and you look at the natural talents and strengths for leadership, which is not easily defined, but they've done the research. Of the ten people, one of them has the natural talents and strengths in such a way that it is so innate to them that they need little or no development coaching and training. They just are great leaders
We will all know of people who may not be senior and who may not be in big highly paid positions of leadership, but they are amazing leaders. Two more in the ten have the basic underlying talents and strengths to be great leaders, but they need development, mentoring, coaching, and training in order to bring it out so that they're the best. They do have it. Seven out of ten shouldn't be leaders, and that's okay because it's not their natural talent.
When you see the average team structure, one manager or leader to 6 to 8 direct reports, that reflects that, then Gallup said, “What proportion of the time do organizations put a person in a role of leadership where it isn't their natural talents and strength?” They said, “Almost all the time.” It was something like 80% or 90%. Again, we all know that. We all know some amazing leaders who are in positions of leadership. We all know some amazing leaders who don't have formal leadership responsibilities, but they lead in many ways inside and outside of work.
We know a lot of people who are in positions of leadership and management responsibility, and yet they don't seem to care about their people. It isn't innate to them to communicate. They wonder why when they say things a certain way everybody else gets offended. This idea of instinct in leadership and looking for people to place in positions of leadership who get it, have the talent for it, for whom it is natural, and they do it well.
Honestly, it's like setting up your team or your organization to be like being on a bicycle riding downhill instead of riding uphill. It's easier. Here am I having a coaching conversation with a very senior leader in the Middle East. It's a multi-country business in the Middle East. The Middle East, for obvious reasons, in the middle of what's going on with Israel and Palestine, is in huge turmoil. That is having widespread impacts on many businesses.
Those impacts are largely, but not entirely, out of the control of those businesses. The leader I was working with, who is one of the 1 in 10, is personally, he's maybe 1 in 100, incredibly instinctive, and a natural leader, as well as being in a position of very senior leadership responsibility. I said, said, “How are you? How are you handling such a difficult time?” He said, “I'll tell you what I said to my team yesterday when we had our whole team get-together. I know that we are all of different backgrounds, nationalities, and faiths but I know that we all want to find peace, so I want to take a moment for us all to pray together in our own faiths.”
I went, “How powerful is that?” No leadership manual, no CEO textbook, and no McKinsey article will tell you to do that or to say that. They might say, “We'll be a bit careful if you say something like that. You might offend people.” He knew or for him, it was deeply authentic to say that. That's my connection too. For me, being in a podcast conversation or doing that on the stage somewhere like a fireside chat or being in this conversation with you, that's what that feels like being in senior leadership positions.
That's been a part of my journey. In 2020, when I decided to let go of that and take a massive pay cut to set up and start out on this journey, it's because I already knew from the beginnings of this that for me the coaching conversation, this conversation, or the curiosity conversation is instinctive and I love it in a way I can't even express to you what it feels like. What I would want listeners to hear is find what that is for you.
It won't be podcasting and speaking. Find the moment when you feel like, “I could do this all day every day, and I just love it,” then figure out how you're going to make enough money to cut your costs but start with what's the shortlist of things that I love to do. I hadn't understood that in my whole life. I had understood it in dancing but I didn't know how to reproduce that outside of the dance studio. For ten years after we finished dancing, I've done many things. It looked like steps forward on the journey and success and the rest of it.
We have never had moments that felt like being in the training studio in Italy with the best in the world and being on the world championship competition floor. Even though we were going to come low down in that competition, we were there. We were in the presence of those people. We were at the very best we could ever be. We were there and it was deeply fulfilling.
There’s something about what you shared that I want to connect with and this is a moment to say a lot of people think in very literal terms like, “If my passion is dancing, I must be dancing. That means that I have to be on the floor and dance.” The reality is there's a deeper meaning to it. The idea of dancing, the idea of what it is that I'm passionate about, let's call it, how does that transcend the actual act and move into the other arenas and make it become something that does become something of a living, of a way to make money in which we have to make a living? You don't have to think literally. You have to dig deeper and see what's the meaning behind all this. That's what I'm gathering from all of this from you. You were dancing but it's the literal dancing that led you to the deeper meaning of the dancing.
We're dancing now. That's the thing.
That’s an amazing insight for us to think about. This is a little anecdote from our experience of dancing. There are two world-class dancers who are now long retired. They were never world champions, but they were in the top five probably in the world. They were amongst the best of their generation as artistic dancers. You think of ballet dancers and there are many who are technically great dancers. There's a handful who are incredible artists. That's a different thing.
They did this group workshop and they had all of the men standing in a line behind William and all of the ladies standing in line behind Alessandro. You're standing opposite to your partner, but maybe 3 or 4 meters apart. They said, “The man is going to take a step forward on the left foot. The lady is going to take a step back on the right foot. We want you to do it with no delay between the two.”
Normally, the man would step forward. The lady would see and go, “I need to step back.” There's a gap. We were training to make that virtually instantaneous and ultimately instantaneous. They said, “Now you're going to come close together, but not quite touching, then you're going to do the same again. Try to be in perfect coordination.” You try coordinating with somebody where imagine your hand and their hand are next to each other, but only a centimeter apart.
You say, “Move those two hands in synchrony without them touching.” They say, “Now try and do it with your eyes closed.” You start getting to this incredibly intense form of connection. You and I are separated by an ocean, but in a moment, in the audio, we may sound pretty much like we're around the same table. We can see each other. We're recording on the same track, I suspect. I can tread on your toes and you can tread on mine.
We're doing exactly the same thing and we're not continuing a monotonous repetitive rhythm. We're going faster and slower sometimes. There's silence sometimes. There's pace. Sometimes I'm talking and you're talking. We don't know what’s going to go next, and so we have to connect. When you connect with the person you're communicating with, it feels different. When people come to me, they say, “How do I become more influential?” Meaning, "What should I say? What should I wear? What questions should I ask? Which seat at the table should I sit in?" It's not that at all.
That stuff matters but find the connection. That's what's powerful. As I say, this is stuff that for me is very exciting because it is live. Sometimes you talk to people where they form a view, a framework, and a theme, then they talk for the next twenty years about that thing that they're famous for. It's not necessarily growing, evolving, and developing.
I like the transience. I like the fact that you might have seen me dance in the past, but you're never going to see that again. It's not all captured on video. If you were there, you saw it and you experienced it. Over time, your memory of that will fade and I feel like that with this thing. If you're thinking there is an answer. There's a fixed response. There’s a process we need to go through. I need to follow these four steps and then I will be a great leader. It's not that at all.
You have to figure it out for yourself and you have to appreciate that it's going to continue to evolve because you evolve. The person you're talking to evolves. The circumstances around you evolve. The needs evolve. It’s that idea of being in constant evolution and constant shift. That comes back to dance. Dance is a fluid continuously moving thing. To be in harmony with the person that you're connecting with, you have to be open to the idea that nothing is fixed.
That's such a beautiful sentiment. I love what you connected. The idea that I'm left with is this idea that influence and impact for that matter is it comes from connection and evolution. You have to evolve and connect to see how these things come together. You can't just take anything in a static frame. Nothing in a static frame is going to be right. It's always evolving.
Influence comes from connection and evolution. You have to evolve and connect to really see how these things come together. You can't just take anything into a static frame. Nothing in a static frame is really right. It's always evolving.
There's this metaphor that I've been talking about in a coaching conversation, but it could be any conversation between two people. Think of a conversation that you have relatively regularly. Maybe you regularly catch up with your direct report, line manager, coaching client, or friend. You know those long corridors in airports where there are flat travelators. There's one on the left and one on the right. There are some people in the middle who decide to get fit by walking or dragging their cases out in the middle.
I'm on one of those travelators and you're on the other one. We're opposite each other, and we can talk to each other. We then stop talking because it's the end of this conversation but we carry on moving down the corridor. At some point in the future, because it's our next appointment or our next conversation, we pick up the conversation again. You've moved 20 meters further down the corridor and so have I.
What happens for people in reality often is if we've been having a conversation and you go away for a couple of weeks then we pick up a conversation again, I start the conversation where we last left off and I go, “The last thing you said was this, let's pick up.” That's like me stepping off the travelator and you're now 20 meters further down the corridor. This is an idea from Patrick.
It’s the idea that if there's silence in a conversation, you need not remember where you were when the silence started but arrive at the end of the silence with the other person. Appreciate that in that silence, they've moved on and you need to too. Again, it comes back to the dance and the connection that you need to stay aligned, connected in harmony and synchrony, even if you're not talking and not together. We connected a few weeks ago and we haven't spoken since. We're having a very different conversation from the one we had before.
It's amazing and very powerful. I love the fact that we are in this space with this conversation.
We're both in the rooms that we were in before but if we'd said, “The last time we talked about this. What else do we want to talk about?” We're putting ourselves back further down the travellator.
In the interest of time. Unfortunately, we have to come to a close. I want to respect your time. I have one last question I have to ask you and I ask every guest this question. I'm curious now. What are 1 or 2 books that have an impact on you and why?
I hadn't thought about this. In this context, I hadn't thought about it to plan something wise and informative. I hadn't anticipated what we were going to talk about, but a book that I pulled out of my bookshelf is quite interesting and pertinent. It's a very obscure book. It's called The Monk and the Philosopher, and East meets West in a father-son dialogue. It is a book that I probably bought about 25 years ago.
It's a fascinating book. It's a conversation written down in book form between a French father and son where the father is a philosopher and the son went to the Far East to become a monk. They talk about philosophy and the meaning of life. What is so fascinating is they come from different perspectives and there are so many points of connection. We've been talking about that. We're finding points of connection in all sorts of different situations that all come back to connection, alignment, tempo, rhythm, and silence.
It's such a beautiful book because for me that's what it epitomizes. I don't read many books. A lot of people think I probably read a lot of books. One a year or something like that. The books that I have read are few and far between but important and that's one. It's an amazing book by Jean-François Rebelle and Mathieu Ricard. It's very interesting.
I'm putting that on my list. It sounds amazing. I'm intrigued. I have to start by saying, Gary, this was a powerful conversation and I'm so grateful for you sharing your stories, insights, and your presence. Thank you for coming to the show.
It's been my great pleasure. I've learned a lot and certainly moved my thinking forward a bit exploring some of these themes with you. Thank you for creating this space and all the work that you do with this show.
Thank you. Before I can let you go officially, I have to make sure that the people know where to find you. What's the best way to locate you if they want to reach out?
I have a website at GaryCrotaz.com. On there, you can find my book and my podcast, or you can go to TheUnlockMoment.com. You'll find the Unlock Moments in all major show platforms, particularly Spotify and Apple. I'm very active on LinkedIn as well, so do reach out on LinkedIn. I love to connect with people and pick up a conversation there.
You will need to reach out to Gary. He's fantastic. His podcast is amazing. The book is great. I've read it. I would say that it’s worth your time. Thank you so much, Gary. Thanks to the audience for coming on this journey with us. I know you're leaving fully inspired and ready to take on the world.
- The Unlock Moment
- The IDEA Mindset
- Marshall Goldsmith
- The Monk and the Philosopher
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