Business coach, author and entrepreneur Mitch Matthews will give a talk titled “Google Your Brain” at Business for Breakfast on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 a.m.
We got a chance to ask him 5 questions today about his talk, who inspired him and even his superpower.
What does it mean to Google your brain?
“Google your brain” is a metaphor to help us remember that our brain functions a lot like a search engine. If you ask a search engine a good question you’ll get better search results. If you ask your brain a better question you’ll get better solutions.
So then it comes down to how do you ask yourself or those around you better questions to uncover those better solutions? That’s what we’re going to dig into on Tuesday.
Name three people who have inspired you.
Great question. Oh and the list is long. But I’ll just go with the top three that come to mind today.
The first is Marty Doane. He owned the bike shop in my hometown of Newton, Iowa. He saw potential in me at 13 and hired me. That changed my life forever. That’s also where the entrepreneurial bug bit me hard.
I’ll also throw out Henry Ford. He got a little sideways in his later years but he truly was a business person who changed the world by bringing it something it didn’t even know it needed. Plus I’ll share a little-known story on Tuesday that makes him a true “solution-based thinking” hero to me.
Finally I’ll also say author Daniel Pink. Dan is one of those business authors who is not afraid to bring science and research into the business world and make it live. He’s also not afraid to say things that go against the grain of common thought but he does it in a way that makes sense, that’s compelling and makes a difference.
You have made a career out of providing innovative solutions to business leaders. What’s your secret sauce?
Wow. That’s a nice thing to say. I appreciate it.
I’d say part of my secret sauce is that I hold my clients and my audiences as capable. That means that my job is to not always provide the solution but instead to ask the questions that help them come up with a solution that they own.
So often we’re faced with challenges and feel stuck. But instead of someone handing us a solution we’re capable of creating one. We just need someone to ask the right questions to help us see the situation from a little different perspective. Usually a great solution is right under our nose.
Plus, I’ve found that when individuals and organizations feel a true sense of ownership and autonomy over the idea, it has a bunch greater chance of being successful and sticking.
Finally, I believe in having some fun along the way. That never hurts. (We will talk about some of the science behind that to on Tuesday too.)
What takeaways do you hope business professionals gain from hearing you speak?
My goal is to always share some ideas that help to bring different perspectives and promote what I call “solution-based thinking.” But more importantly I always want to give people tools that they can start using immediately. So at the very least people will have some new questions to start applying personally and within their organizations within 15 minutes of being done on Tuesday. How does that sound for a promise?
If you were a superhero, what would your super power be, and why?
Okay in full disclosure I have been a lifelong geek so I’ve actually given this quite a bit of thought. I have to say that Superman’s superpowers are a pretty unbeatable combination, but if I had to choose I think I’d go more the Batman route. I like gadgets and being a billionaire wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either.