Joseph D'Souza Growth through Meaning

Meaning for Growth & Success with Joseph D’Souza #041

Show Notes:

Joseph D’Souza is focussed on teasing out the real human beings in the executives, leaders and business owners he coaches.

He is the creator of The ROQUE Model™ conversation starter and founder of QuestUnique professional coaching. He believes that we make better decisions when we are anchored in who we are as human beings, are conscious and wilful in our world of relationships, and leverage our work to support the fulfilment of life with purpose and meaning.

His TEDx talks share the story of ROQUE. He tries to live what Vincent van Gogh said, “The best way to love life is to love many things”.

Topics explored:

  • In today’s corporate world you’re leading yourself
  • Juggling success and stress
  • Don’t forget the often forgotten stay at home partner
  • So many wonder, who am I, where am I going?
  • One of the most common mistakes is the fear of being judged
  • At the top of the leadership ladder it’s the same
  • Values and sense of meaning can be our foundation, our anchor
  • Allow ourselves to be restrained by our own paradigms
  • Each circumstance isn’t approached on its own merit
  • If we’re stifled how are we meant to inspire others?
  • Small leaders ignite others
  • You need the right vehicle for the terrain
  • Exercise where we don’t label, we try not to think, just experience
  • Quieten the noise
  • More tolerant and less phased by panic
  • The ROQUE starter exercise
  • When I met Goliath
  • You can view through David or see through Goliath


Al McBride 0:04
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge in negotiation and high impact conversations. For Business leaders with skin in the game who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value, and increase profitability. With expert guests across the business spectrum. We deliver gems of wisdom delving into their methods, their thinking and approach to business life and problem solving.

Al McBride 0:30
This is the double espresso shot of insight through our short interview format, with five questions in about 15 minutes. I’m your host, Al McBride and my guest today is Joseph D’Souza. Joseph is focused on teasing out the real human beings in the executives, leaders and business owners, he coaches.

Al McBride 0:51
He is the creator of the ROQUE model, conversation starter and founder of quest unique professional coaching. He says that we make better decisions when we are anchored in who we are, as human beings are conscious and willful in our world of relationships and leverage our work to support the fulfilment of life with purpose, and meaning. His TED Talks share the story of rock. So Joseph, welcome to the show. Great to have you on.

Joseph D’Souza 1:25
Thank you, Alistair. So good to be on here. And a very good morning from a sunny summer’s morning in the Yarra Valley in Australia, which is about 100 kilometres east of Melbourne.

Al McBride 1:40
Beautiful, beautiful. Yeah, I was down that part of the world a few years ago. And it’s fun, just quite jealous. We’re just coming out of winter here is still having all these cold snaps. So I am envious. So but it’s great to have you on the show. Joseph. Thank you. Great, great to have you. So let’s dive straight in. So who is your ideal client? And what’s the biggest challenge that they face?

Joseph D’Souza 2:04
Yeah, what a great question. My ideal question. Target clients are people in leadership positions, whether they be small business, or co operations, whatever it takes where they have to influence other people. And of course, in today’s corporate world, you’re leading yourself as well, you’re alone professional.

Joseph D’Souza 2:28
And most of the time, these people are juggling success, and stress, and seeking that work life balance, you know, they, they want to have financial freedom, they want to have the freedom to choose. And all of that is going on at the same time, what’s they’re trying to do their job.

Joseph D’Souza 2:50
And I never forget also the other ideal client, and that’s the stay at home partner or parents, who they are doing such an incredible amount of work for humanity, bringing up families looking after, and supporting the people that do do go out to work. And they’re also wondering, how am I going to be acknowledged? Who am I? What am I doing? Where am I going? Right?

Al McBride 3:20
It sounds like as you said, there’s a lot of stress, there’s a lot of frustration. So what are some of those common mistakes people make when they when they’re trying to solve that problem that don’t quite work?

Joseph D’Souza 3:33
Yeah, I think one of the biggest things, biggest mistake and I call it a mistake, is having that fear of being judged. Alright. And if we forgot that fear, we’d be trying a lot more, we’d be sort of releasing some of our potential to explore more to give more of our best, but even at the top of the ladder in leadership positions, we’re afraid of how we will be judged on results as perceived by others. I see that as a fundamental mistake.

Al McBride 4:12
Well, I agree. I agree. We were kind of on the same page on that one. But yeah,

Al McBride 4:18
yeah. So people are, as you said, they’re afraid to be judged. Is it just that you know, that they feel they should have this solved already? Or is this just as you said that the latter other people down and that they’ll, whatever they’ve built, as you said, often they’re quite successful people.

Joseph D’Souza 4:34
So whatever they’ve built might fall apart or what exactly is the fear we as part of that judgment, that that’s very perceptive. If you think about building a house. If you don’t have a solid foundation. Don’t worry about putting the walls let alone the roof, because that’ll all collapse. And what do I mean by foundation when we are not anchored? ourselves about who we are about our values, our sense of meaning, our sense of purpose, then we are at the mercy of the demands put on us. And sometimes we invoke the demands because of our perception of how we see our world.

Al McBride 5:19
Right right. So as I said, it’s all comes back to the framing in our head, the meaning we give to the things, however helpful or unhelpful? Right? Right.

Joseph D’Souza 5:30
Yeah. So another mistake that is often made is we allow ourselves to be restrained by our own paradigms. Okay, that’s a very,

Al McBride 5:48
there’s a lot to unpack there.

Joseph D’Souza 5:51
That the, you know, it’s very confronting, to even hear that, you know, what, me, you know, what, am I restraining myself? No, I want to do more. But how do we know that? Because we can only think, from the framework of our experience, which is the past, and perhaps some lessons learned, you know, reward and theory, or reward and punishment kind of experience.

Joseph D’Souza 6:17
And so I’ve done that before it worked, let me do more of it. I’ve done that before it didn’t work. So I wanted more of it. Instead of approaching each circumstance or situation on merit, restraining ourselves from the limitations of our own paradigms. That’s a mistake.

Al McBride 6:38
That’s fascinating. And it’s obviously a mistake, because it’s what the court is in the resulting fallacy where, because you try something, and it didn’t work may be unpleasant. But n equals one, even if it’s n equals two or three, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It means that didn’t work with that person, or whatever that example, that one situation, you got it.

Joseph D’Souza 7:01
And then imagine, imagine putting ourselves under pressure from peers, and sometimes the peers, but the pressure, but sometimes we assume the peers are putting pressure on us. And then we act accordingly. Yeah, it’s very tricky. It’s very tricky. And this whole concept of competition, I must win, I must be better than the others.

Joseph D’Souza 7:28
You’re setting yourself up with obstacles, and maybe you’ll develop some great talents of being an obstacle jumper. But at the end of the day, these obstacles take away energy, and they take away our ability to actually see far ahead. And if we are stifling ourselves, how as leaders, are we going to inspire those that are that we’re leading? Right. So it we then pass on the the legacy, if you will, of our own restrictions.

Al McBride 8:07
It’s fascinating, because as you say, if, as you said, a lot of your clients are probably in those leadership positions. And it’s all about the atmosphere their Creator, isn’t it? Yeah. So as it says, so how do I motivate my workforce? You know, how? And you think motivation is like a carrot stick external product, you know? Whereas, if the question is, how do I inspire my team? How do I get what they need, and Stoke those the fire in the belly so that I don’t have to motivate them? You know, you see,

Joseph D’Souza 8:46
as leaders, we are mistaken in thinking we have to do something to the team, or we have to do something to the followers. Right. And, and it is actually quite a truism that says the role of the leader is to inspire others. To give up their best I take it a step further, the role of a smart leader is to ignite in others, their own well of inspiration to come forward.

Joseph D’Souza 9:20
Imagine the potential that releases I’ve been in teams where people feel, oh, gosh, he trusts me to make my own decisions, and look what more I can get. And that’s what the leaders job is not to manage the team, not to tell them what to do, but to inspire them to grow them to ignite in them their own spark of enthusiasm of energy to actually provide their best.

Al McBride 9:48
Absolutely. I mean, you’re reminding me of, you know, the key parts of the high performing team. Yes, by definition, they have to be more than the Some of their parts, and a team that gets along quite well aren’t still aren’t necessarily more than the sum of their parts. They’re just the sum of them.

Al McBride 10:11
Yes. Whereas when there’s conflict, and people are holding things back, because as you said, They’re, they’re insecure, they’re afraid of being judged. We’re taking that from the singular leader to that spreading through the team, then no wonder, you know, they’re not even the sum of their parts, because they’re holding things back.

Al McBride 10:30
Does that answer these fear responses? So with that in mind, and with that idea of the leader and then springing out and rolling out to their team, what might be one valuable free action that the audience could implement that would help with that issue. So wouldn’t maybe solve it, but it would certainly put them in the right trajectory.

Joseph D’Souza 10:51
Right? Remember what I said earlier on the back, when you build a house, your foundation has got to be solid, let that cement set, if you’re using cement, make sure you’ve got the right ingredients to mix it all together. And there’s the right temperature, all of that, okay. So think about that. In your regular life, you’re driving to inform from work to and from the supermarket or whatever, and you have a certain car, if you want to go on an adventure, off road, as they say, up the mountains, follow some really adventurous tracks, you actually need to change the car. Because if you don’t, you’ll get stuck.

Al McBride 11:33
So your Honda Civic won’t do the four by four off road. Okay, well,

Joseph D’Souza 11:39
Unless Unless it’s a souped up Honda Civic. But if you got all wheel drive, and a lot of traction, and a lot of height, as an analogy, in order to really find our bearings. If we leave the workplace, and say, take a partner or take a friend, and go for a walk in territory, that isn’t your everyday territory, go for walking mountains, go for a walk in the forest, go by the river, right. And here’s the challenge.

Joseph D’Souza 12:09
Here’s the important exercise. Don’t say a word to the person you’re walking with. Just go along and experience and be in the moment of what is surrounding you. If there are animals or birds, listen out for them. Don’t try and name them. Don’t try and name the tree. Don’t look at your partner and say, Did you see that? Or what is that call? Stop that chatter of the mind. And just be right, just be present.

Joseph D’Souza 12:42
And you will find that the journey you have taken from your office or home by car to the forest that’s already knew to drop some baggage behind, then you get out of the car and start walking. And now you’re dropping even more baggage behind. And all the time you what you’re doing is going back to just being who you are as a human being going back to that foundation of who you are.

Joseph D’Souza 13:13
Right. And as I said, without conversation, because conversation implies thinking, thinking implies thoughts, thoughts in place carrying that baggage, right. And to still the mind is very difficult, very challenging. But unless you try it, unless you do it and get comfortable, you won’t know what it’s like. So unless you are testing for that cement that’s drying that essence of who you are as a human being, you’re not going to build a good foundation. Now, that’s one part of the exercise. And you might have to do it repeatedly to get comfortable because initial is strange, right?

Al McBride 13:52
It’s certainly again, walking or moving meditation.

Joseph D’Souza 13:56
Yes, I hesitate to call it meditation because meditation means so many different things to various people. And if I say you’re doing a walking meditation, people are going to say, Well, how am I going to sit cross legged and walk? Well, you know, let’s let’s not go there. So, when you get back to your home base, right?

Joseph D’Souza 14:20
Just notice how you feel as a result of not having had all that activity in the mind. all that noise, right? Notice how you feel notice how your partner or colleague felt and just absorb that emotion, that feeling that sensation of just being and let me tell you, when you go back into the office, and you’re faced with the same challenges, try and get that same sensation of being. But okay, you can say but now I’m in a noisy world And people are shouting, and people are sending us project deadlines and all that.

Joseph D’Souza 15:03
And I’m saying, use that very environment and transmute it to take you to that sense of being that sense of place of who you are. Right? You don’t have to bring the forest in your mind that’s bringing baggage back this, right? Use the environment in which you find yourself. to derive that sense of peace, that sense of purpose, you will find that as a leader, your communications improve, you are able to connect with other human beings, you’re a bit more tolerant, you’re less fazed with panic, and demands and more confident about your next steps. It’s a very powerful step. And in in, in a leadership world where there are lots of challenges, people can say, How am I going to even have time to do that? But until you’ve tried, you won’t know.

Al McBride 16:05
What do you What else? Do your clients report about that? Because it must be huge. First of all, okay, it may take, as you said several times to get used to it. And to properly quiet the energy inner voice chattering away, often saying unhelpful things, sometimes just talking nonsense, but and that’s kind of what what you’re doing, you’re quieting that being, as you said, more present to what’s happening around you the environment around you, when you bring them into the office, what what do people report?

Al McBride 16:36
Because you said that they’re communicating better is that you know, that they’re there? Are they are they being more intuitive? Are they actually just get their own noise is actually out of the way and they’re able to see what’s going on? With with greater clarity? What is it the top

Joseph D’Souza 16:52
a great question, their own sense of awareness has expanded, and they are aware now of what is noise, and what is meaningful. So when someone comes and panics, you know, we’re gonna miss this deadline, we’re gonna miss this deadline, or our sales targets are not going to be met for this month and all of that, you hear that as noise and your mind begins to focus, okay?

Joseph D’Souza 17:19
What do we need to do about it, rather than reacting to the panic, you are now proactively looking for ways with your gathering, to how you’re going to achieve that. So you’re still performing. But now you’re performing in a different way. If you were my leader, and you came to me, all stressed out about something I, I needed to do quickly, I’ll be picking up your stress. And that immediately puts me on the wrong foot to try and do what I’m trying to do.

Al McBride 17:54
Whereas the emotional contagion can work in a very positive way, if you’re much calmer than the person who’s in the blank will automatically come up at more than down to your level. Okay? That is fascinating. So what is one valuable free resource that you can direct people to that will help them with this?

Joseph D’Souza 18:16
Okay, for your listeners on this podcast, I have changed the entry point into my website. And when they go in and register, they have access to every single free resource that’s available to someone who’s registered. But I would direct them to one little exercise in particular, it’s called the rock starter, r o qu E, rock starter.

Joseph D’Souza 18:44
And the rock star, there’s a simple exercise. And it looks at three key areas of your life, who you are, as a human being, we’ve talked about that a bit. Your relationships, your special relationships, and then your career, your profession, your role, or whatever. And in these three areas, it asks, What do you need right now? Right now, what do you perceive as a need in each of those areas? And then on the next column, is, if those needs were satisfied, satisfied, what would be different?

Joseph D’Souza 19:18
How would you feel? And then there’s a little exercise that helps you prioritize and encourages you to set some goals to try and achieve what you need. Because you know that when you get those goals achieved, how you will feel and what will be different.

Al McBride 19:39
Sounds fantastic. That’s fantastic. So I that that link will obviously be below the podcast and on the blog. And that’s a fantastic resource. Thank you for that, Joseph. That’s super nice. So tell me what one question I should have asked you. That will be of great value to the audience. I know there’s so many. Yeah, abundance there but good one, your

Joseph D’Souza 20:05
your podcast is all about dealing with Goliath. I suppose you could ask me. Have I met Goliath?

Al McBride 20:13
All right, have you meshed? Who is your Goliath? And how did you fare?

Joseph D’Souza 20:19
You know, one day I was looking into the mirror and looking at myself and all of a sudden, I saw the image of Goliath. And almost instinctively, David also appeared. And when I saw David and Goliath, I then noticed them army of saboteurs. And then suddenly, I noticed a whole congregation of mystics and sages. And in that moment, I realized I was all of that. I’m actually projecting from through those images, depending on what state of mind I am.

Joseph D’Souza 21:00
Right. And it occurred to me that if I was facing a certain situation, and I was viewing it as Goliath, I would act as Goliath would. And I would get results based on those actions. If I was acting, or looking at the circumstances through David’s eyes, I would take actions that David would take and get results based on David’s action, the moral there really is, we are both Goliath, and David, we are our saboteurs. And our sages and mystics. It’s Who are we going to choose to view the world with or through.

Joseph D’Souza 21:45
So that tells me that how I look at the world and my circumstances dictate what kinds of actions I’m going to take, and those actions I take, will deliver the results. Now, if I like the results, I can keep on viewing the world through that filter. If I don’t like the results, just changing the actions want because my mind is still trapped in a different paradigm. So if we accept that we are Goliath, ourselves, and we are projecting Goliath perspective, then we have an aha moment. I’ve also got David if I’ve got the Goliath. I’ve also got if I’ve got the mystic, what am I going to choose?

Al McBride 22:41
exactly who’s right for what you want? Next? Yeah. But again, it’s that that as you said, the power, the awareness to recognize that and then make a choice? The key behind behind all of these things that we do? Absolutely, absolutely. And we

Joseph D’Souza 22:59
have to take that adventure and go off road, as I said, into a different environment in order to really find our center.

Al McBride 23:11
We do. Absolutely. And unit as I said, you need the right vehicle for the job. Very important. Well, it was great to have you on the show. Joseph, thank you so much.

Joseph D’Souza 23:23
My pleasure. My pleasure. I really enjoy talking to you and one day we’ll meet in person. You can offer me a glass of Guinness and I’ll offer you a glass of Australian fine wine.

Al McBride 23:36
It’s a deal. All right, talk to you again soon. Joseph. Thanks for that. Okay, cheers them. Bye bye.

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