10 Questions with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

Business disasters are just around the corner! Fortunately, Disaster Avoidance Expert Dr. Gleb Tsipursky's engaging, interactive, and customized keynotes and seminars have helped thousands of leaders and organizations avoid disaster through science-based decision-making and emotional and social intelligence. His expertise in these areas comes from extensive consulting and coaching for leaders in businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities, as well as his strong research background with dozens of peer-reviewed publications.

Gleb is the President of the nonprofit Intentional Insights, authored the Number 1 Amazon bestseller on decision-making and problem-solving "The Truth Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide," and was featured in Fast Company, CBS News, Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, The Conversation, Business Insider, Government Executive, and Inc. Magazine. He has over two decades of professional speaking experience on three continents and gets top marks from audiences.

Why are you passionate about the topic you speak about?

Having seen so many business disasters, which cause untold suffering for employees and other organizational stakeholders, I am deeply passionate about helping leaders and organizations avoid disasters. The scientific basis of my content is something I am very enthusiastic about as well, since it means that my expertise comes not simply from my own experience, but the experience of all types of business leaders distilled into the very best practices possible.

What is the best advice you have ever received as an expert, speaker or coach?

Do only the things that you are best at, outsource the rest.

Who do you admire and why?

I admire Bill Gates for dedicating the large majority of his enormous fortune to charity, and spending so much of his time on it with his work on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I myself am committed to dedicating most of my money, above a minimal livable income and retirement savings, to charity, and serve as the volunteer President of the Board of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit that popularizes science-based decision-making and emotional and social intelligence.

What is one piece of advice you could share with our readers to uplift them in life/career?

We may think we want the truth, but sometimes the facts can be difficult to handle, causing us very unpleasant emotions. Our minds tend to flinch away from these facts, preferring instead to seek out the comfort of our pre-existing beliefs. What separates true leaders – at every level of an organization – from just those with titles is the ability to face these unpleasant facts, handle the uncomfortable emotions evoked, and take the needed steps to accomplish the organization’s priorities.

Being a truth-seeker involves undertaking the sometimes-difficult work of expanding one’s comfort zone and challenging one’s pre-existing notions for the sake of seeing the truth of reality. Even from a purely emotional perspective, a clearer view of reality will pay great dividends down the road. Sticking to pre-existing beliefs that do not align with reality causes us to develop unrealistic expectations, and we inevitably grow stressed, anxious, and depressed when our bubble is popped by the sharp needle of reality. So, while it might not be pleasant to face the facts in the moment, in the long run you will be much better off in getting to the unpleasant realizations quickly, updating your beliefs to match the facts, and aligning your emotions to a more accurate understanding of reality.

Of course, the emotional payoff is just one part of the benefit you gain in orienting toward inconvenient truths instead of comfortable falsehoods. Perhaps an even bigger benefit comes from avoiding bad decisions.

Everything in our lives, personal and professional, results from our decisions. Making good decisions depends on us having the right information. Did you ever hear the acronym GIGO? That stands for “garbage in, garbage out” and stems from the field of information technology in reference to computers producing the wrong output if they get fed bad information. Our brains are in essence organic computers that make decisions based on the information they get. If we feed them bad information based on us holding false beliefs, we will make bad decisions, in our private and professional lives.

These bad decisions are costly. In our everyday life, bad decisions cause us to lose money, time, relationships, health, and happiness. Making bad decisions in the workplace results in our organizations losing money, time, and reputation, as well as undermining teamwork and employee morale.

What is your favorite book?

Daniel Kahneman, "Thinking, Fast and Slow."

What do you do to relax?

Garden, pet cats, and read sci-fi.

What are some of the challenges you face as a speaker, expert or coach and how do you overcome those?

My main challenge is marketing, and I overcome it through outsourcing it to others. Another challenge is professional development, and I overcome it by dedicating specific time to professional development every week.

How do you see the world of coaching and speaking evolve over the next 5 years?

For speaking, I see a growing role for technology over time.

What technology can't you live without?


See Dr. Gleb Tsipursky's online course:
Avoiding business disasters with proven science-based strategies.

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