EP #55: Nigel Risner – Truth, Trust and Intuitive Influence
Season 1, Ep. 55
Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence – to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice – and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a nation.

Here is the primary question I went into my interview with this week’s guest thinking about…

What kind of leadership influence actually creates impact? Real impact.

Sure as leaders we can request, motivate, incentivise – reprimand. But what happens when those tools don’t work? When we’ve tried everything we know – and the results are still falling way too far short? When we have that sneaking feeling in our gut that it’s us rather than them – and that a better leader could get this train back on track.

It’s hard to admit those moments – because it means we have to stretch when we already feel stretched enough. Learn new tools and – hardest of all – admit to those we’re supposed to inspire that in this moment we’re as unsure as anyone else.

And yet – it’s in those moments – according to my next guest – that we have the choice to do something different. To develop tools that are some of the most potent we have available as leaders.

These tools are counter-intuitive. They involve slowing down – especially when you need results fast. To stop talking even when everyone is looking to you for answers. To really listen to our teams – and consider their purpose in going to work in the first place – rather than purpose we have given them. To trust the people around us implicitly until proven otherwise – and then tell the truth fast when things aren’t working. Essentially they involve unlearning everything we think we know as leaders.

My guest today is the entertaining and unreservedly direct Nigel Risner. Nigel is a globally recognised specialist in company turnarounds – and author of ‘The Impact Code’.

His journey into leadership began at 21 – as one of the youngest CEO’s of a financial services company in London. He started with the total sum of £12.80 in his pocket – and went on to lead that company through massive growth – eventually becoming the largest independent brokerage in the Country.

But of course that’s not the end of the story. The course of true love – or true leadership – never ran that smooth. I also can’t think of many masterful CEO’s or Founders that I know that hit the bullseye on the first shot. Or the second or the third for that matter.

Then came the financial crash of the 1980’s – and after a chain of events Nigel found himself making a previously inconceivable choice – to drive a mini-cab in the Company Bentley in order to pay the bills.

What happened next – and the lessons he learnt – fire tested all the tools he now teaches when it comes to helping companies and teams successfully emerge from what would be considered ‘near fatal’ situations.

In today’s conversation Nigel and I go head first into:

The importance of telling the truth quickly
The art of deep trust – until proven otherwise
What it takes to show up intentionally and powerfully as a leader
Why 17 mins is the magic number – I won’t go into more detail here – but it’s worth writing down
How to turn Feedback into Feedforward. A simple twist that completely changes the outcome.
And the vital leadership pivot from coach to commentator

I first heard about Nigel in a Facebook message that arrived one morning from a friend I admire. It said: ‘You need to check this guy out. He’s interesting.’

So now I’m saying the same to you. Grab a coffee – get ready to dive into a world of what it takes to drive leadership impact – when the road most travelled disappears.

Enjoy my conversation with Nigel Risner.