Select Page

Show Notes:
Bobby shares his views on coaching. [2:06]
A few things that a coach needs to do. [3:35]
Bobby shares how he really wanted to have a cat and a parakeet but ended up with a dog. [6:28]
The proper methodology of establishing a right worldview versus a wrong worldview. [8:02]
What a coach and client relationship should be. [8:42]
Bobby shares a story about a lazy billionaire. [9:25]
What will happen when values and behaviours start to align. [13:16]
Three domains in coaching. [17:23]
Coaching is not about being the sage on the stage. It’s about being the guide by the side. [21:30]
Bobby describes his Tourettes that brings tremendous benefits to him. [26:00]
The beauty of being a coach. [28:17]
Bobby explains about authenticity in lines with coaching. [36:00]
The most powerful driving forces of behaviours is emotions. [40:46]
Three things that Bobby take a look at when it comes to change. [42:22]
Social support is a powerful influencer on our behaviour and so is the environment. [44:27]
What is a culture? [47:46]
Bobby use Starbucks as an example of business growth [55:13]

Follow Bobby Cappuccio:
Website –
Twitter – @bobbycappuccio
Facebook –
Instagram – @bobbycappuccio
LinkedIn –


Episode 27: Exploring behaviour change coaching with the Highbrow Tourette’s sufferer Bobby Cappuccio

Nadia Hughes 0:00
Dogs. Have you seen dogs with those teats hanging out where she needs to feed her puppies? I was one of those ugly dogs who just was desperate to get some where and then I knew that they’re not going to learn from me, I will tell them or be these, be successful. I will teach them in action how it has to happen and that’s what was driving me.

Narrator 0:28
Welcome to the Unfair Advantage Project. Unique perspectives, practical insights and unexpected discoveries directly focused on giving you the unfair advantage. Introducing your hosts, Nadia Hughes and Terence Toh.

Terence Toh 0:46
Welcome to the Unfair Advantage Project. I’m Terence Toh, managing director StrategiQ Corporation and today, my co host here. Welcome Nadia.

Nadia Hughes 0:54
I’m Nadia Hughes and I’m from Unfair Advantage Accounting and I’m very happy to be here.

Terence Toh 1:00
And today. We’re really excited and hopefully I get the pronunciation right, Bobby Cappuccio?

Bobby Cappuccio 1:07
Impressively, spot on.

Terence Toh 1:09

Bobby Cappuccio 1:09
I was called, “Cappuccino” all through school.

Nadia Hughes 1:12
I have called you, “Cappuccino” on my post today. I said that I’m going to have podcast with you and you are going to be late because you need to go to have your cappuccino.

Bobby Cappuccio 1:22
So you were taking the piss? That’s a bit different.

Nadia Hughes 1:25
Oh well, is it okay?

Terence Toh 1:26
That’s Nadia’s

Bobby Cappuccio 1:27
Nadia, I will live for it.

Nadia Hughes 1:31
It’s Nadia’s way to show affection just to have a dig. Bobby, what I would like to date to zoom into is your coaching. Your views on coaches, because a lot of our listeners are going to try once in a lifetime or many times to engage coaches in their life to help them to excel in what they doing to excel their business to help them this finances to call the personal growth. What’s you have your own coaching keys and what is actually coaching? What should we be looking for?

Bobby Cappuccio 2:06
That’s a great question. Because the issue with coaching is to a lot of people, it’s so ambiguous, I can’t wrap my head around what the value is, because I don’t quintessentially understand how its defined. And when you look at definitions of coaching from you know, Tim Gallwey, from Jon Kabat-Zinn very brilliant people. They’re kind of long and very expansive and although they’re brilliant, you know, some times people don’t remember what they actually are. And I think one of the most succinct definitions of coaching was from the scientists, Jeffrey Schwartz that said, coaching is a process by which you basically facilitate neuroplasticity. And that’s really succinct. But what does that mean? How do you facilitate neural plasticity? And so I thought about that for a while and said, well, coaching is the process where you give tools and hold space for someone, where you allow them to acquire the resources to be at their most resourceful in engaging in the behaviors that develop changes within the brain that support the changes that they want most in a certain aspect of their lives. So that’s how I would define what coaching actually means.

Nadia Hughes 3:24
And in practical sense, how would you achieve that?

Bobby Cappuccio 3:28
Well, if you want to take a look at it from there, that’s a very good question. It’s a very big answer. If you want to take a look at it from an MI, a motivational interviewing perspective, let’s say you know that there are a few things that a coach needs to do. And the first thing is developed discrepancies. So if you look at what a coach has been, historically, it’s been a means of travel. Right? So if this was the latter part of the 19th century and we were in a major city. Well, they were horses pulling this big carriage behind them a coach, and you would get on that coach, because you wanted to go from where you were standing to where that coach was heading. So go from point A to point B. So the first thing we need to do is identify what are your current behaviors? And in what ways? Are they supporting you? Or what ways are these behaviors not supporting you, and develop discrepancies between your current behavior patterns and your desired outcomes? That’s first and foremost. Second, well, I need to develop belief, I’m only going to engage in things to the degree that I believe one they’re relevant to who I am and what I value most, or my basic human needs or if you’re looking at it the other way. My basic human needs that are going unmet at the moment. And if I believe that I’m capable of getting there, right, I mean, I’m not going to get on the stage coach, if I believe it’s going in the opposite direction of where I want to go, you know, and what’s that cool intelligence. So, coaches help you create micro habits, micro wins, that developed progressive self efficacy. And self efficacy is simply your belief in your ability to take the necessary actions that lead to certain outcomes and they do this with empathy. You know, a coach in no way feels for you, but they feel with you. They hold you an unconditional positive regard and they can imaginatively project themselves into the thoughts and feelings and situations of the person. So they’re non judgmental, they don’t moralize a situation. And the fourth element, but I believe coaches do that’s really important, is they understand that, if you say you want one thing, like I want weight loss, but what you really engage in is Haagen daz. Well, it’s not because you’re lazy. It’s not because you’re a liar. It’s not because you lack strains and week, I mean, we could talk about this later. But the there’s so much evidence in your life that that is absolutely not true about you, no matter what, you know, your social media guru happens to think about that subject, what you actually are lacking is alignment between what truly matters most and what you’re attempting to do. And what you’re probably struggling with, is ambivalence, where you want two things that are in direct conflict with one another, like when I was five, you know, I really wanted a cat. But I also really wanted a parakeet, those two things are in direct conflict with one another very bad pets to have in the same room. So by the way, I didn’t get either, sad story.

Nadia Hughes 6:42
You didn’t have them. I was worried about faith of both of you.

Bobby Cappuccio 6:44
Either of those, what I did get was a dog that put on the rug, and then, you know, he got gave away. Anyway, that’s very traumatic, don’t want to talk about that right now. But so what what a coach does is sees resistance as as a normal part of the change process. And rather than looking at it as insubordination, which is not the nature of a coaching relationship, coaches tend to roll with that resistance, rather than see it as a sign of something that should not be occurring in the process.

Nadia Hughes 7:21
So what I hear from you quite often, people try to get people in, in their culture and everything, they break them. And this is what they’re dealing with resistance is the way they deal with it. They they break the pills, and then they build their own way. What’s your view on this type of style coaching? Obviously, would be quite strong, but

Bobby Cappuccio 7:41
Well, I mean, what do we mean when we break them? Are we trying to break a certain behavior pattern? Are we trying to break a certain belief system? Or are we trying to break the person’s will? Because we believe that their worldview is wrong, because it doesn’t match our worldview. And by the way, that is the proper methodology of establishing a right worldview versus a wrong worldview. The worldview that you have is always the right one and if somebody disagrees, well, they’re obviously mental, and they’re wrong. So yeah, all right. You’re welcome. That’s perfectly this test. Of course, I’m taking the piss. But it’s kind a way stuff of us do tend to look at the world. I think if you’re holding anyone in any position other than unconditional positive regard, and that doesn’t mean you accept everything they say, and everything they do. And if they’re doing something that might be harmful to themselves. You know, later on a life, you deal with that. But if you’re approaching your coaching relationship is I am the authority on your life. You’re not the right coach, that is not a good marriage, in the coaching relationship, so to speak and I think a lot of what is disguised as motivational speaking, it’s self congratulatory. I don’t know enough about you to really determine, like, where you’re screwed up, that’s not my job as a coach, as a coach, I don’t fix you. And you know why I don’t fix you, because you’re not broken and that drives me absolutely crazy. Can I give you an example? Can I tell you a story?

Terence Toh 9:21

Nadia Hughes 9:22
Please, go ahead.

Bobby Cappuccio 9:25
So I would say, about a month or two ago, I had a meeting with this guy who I have coached in the past and it was one of those things where I was the coach, and I was working in partnership with his personal trainer. Now his personal trainer, someone who I love and adore. I’ve known this woman for I don’t know, over 20 years. She’s like, I’m so frustrated with this guy. Okay, what’s going on? And while he’s completely unmotivated, he has no discipline, he breaks his commitments constantly. Well, sounds like he’s got a couple of obstacles, which I really think you should coaching. So this is years ago. So let’s fast forward to the meeting. I walk into this guy’s like 25 room mansion. So he’s not a billionaire, by the way, but he’s pretty close to it, he is worth several hundreds of millions of dollars. And now, if you’re like me, you’re standing in this house, that’s kind of like a boutique hotel. And you’re thinking, hmm, how does a guy come into this country, build himself up, you know, coming in not really knowing the language at first, not really having connections and become this guy by being lazy, unmotivated, lacking discipline, and no concept of commitment. So does something sound wrong to you in the story so far? And I think that’s how we view people sometimes. You know, we say to them something like, well, you just need to be more motivated, you need to be willing to do the hard work, because they’re struggling with something like weight loss, but but then you you look at another part of their life, and they’re running three businesses, and you couldn’t live for 72 hours in this person’s world. Where are you drawing these conclusions from? Or if the opposite, and maybe you’re approaching somebody on their finances, but if you take a look at them, they’re an amazing levels of physical fitness, or they’re an incredible parent. So there’s a branch of coaching, called appreciative inquiry, and appreciative inquiry kind of looks at not not what’s wrong with this person. But let’s take a look at what’s right. And, you know, this is a methodology that Martin Seligman was very fond of, he’s considered to be the father of positive psychology. And you know, I’m not that big of a fan of pulses activity, per se. But it’s a very good place to start. Because if you can identify for somebody where they’re doing something very right, and what their innate strategies, attributes and character traits are, that help them to perform well in that area, you can usually expand all of those attributes into other areas where they’re struggling,

Terence Toh 12:24
In other words, kind of align them in that direction, you know, they obviously have a will to go down that path, you know, that that’s why I’ve been coaching to begin with, is that what you’re saying?

Nadia Hughes 12:34
I just think they are successful, because they applying certain behaviors, in order to achieve this success in this area. And they are very used, make it effortless for them in this direction. So what I think my understanding is,

Bobby Cappuccio 12:48
They’re you go.

Nadia Hughes 12:49
you’re taking these tools from this part of their life and applying them to the part of the life where they want to be, but at the moment that is resistant due to the lack of alignment of his values.

Bobby Cappuccio 13:02
That is said, like better than I said it. It’s a matter of fact

Nadia Hughes 13:06
You’re welcome.

Bobby Cappuccio 13:07
I think I should actually interview you, Nadia. I think I was just to get a lot better.

Nadia Hughes 13:10
In the next podcast we just need to come here all the time.

Bobby Cappuccio 13:16
Let me go back to this guy for a second. Because here’s a presupposition that I have about life. When values and behaviors start to align all of the attributes that we associate with success, like passion, commitment, discipline, they all show up automatically. I’ll tell you what I mean. So this guy is super successful, but he’s kind of missing workouts, he’s not sticking to his diet plan. And when you talk to him about it, I’m going to skip over the long story, the short story is he linked up at some point in his life, that when you love your family, at this guy lives for his family, the one thing you do is you provide for them. And he has done an impeccable job of that well done there, sir. But you also spend time with them. Now, do you see where there’s this conflict, he works so hard in a business because he wants to give his family everything he possibly can and a lot of times that it’s very time consuming. So he’s on the road a lot. And when he’s on the road, he’s not with the people he loves most in the world, and the people who mostly want to be with them, when he comes home, he’s working. He’s in his office in his house, that takes up many, many hours in the day. So there’s finite periods of time where he can spend with his family. And over the years, he’s established certain rituals, like popcorn Movie Night, let’s say, with his wife, it’s a glass of wine every evening. So when he goes to the gym, what he’s actually doing is trading the very small, precious period of time he has with his family for the workout. So of course, you can say, Well, you know, in a few years, you’ll be healthier, and you’re doing this for your family. But in the moment, he has to sacrifice what matters most, to engage in a behavior that matters less. And his thing is, I am tired of having trainers tell me I am failing every step of the way. And I’m a failure. And that, you know, I my wine is something I have to give up. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the constant criticism, because I don’t think I’m a total failure in life. Well, I would kind of agree with him. So do you see that’s a perfect example of ambivalence, and that’s what people struggle with. Not necessarily with laziness, this guy is anything but lazy. But you’re right when when those values align, things thoughts that happen.

Nadia Hughes 15:59
And a lot of our listeners will be probably crying at this point, because this is exactly both they are struggling with. They are trying to make business successful and the purpose of being successful in business is be better provider, have better quality of life with your family. Yet, you taking away time, from what from people who you want to spend time and what it’s this or it’s kind of creates this paradox. And the way out of this paradox is I think, just learning about the how to align these values and how to involve your family in activities, which you have to spend time with, it may be even involving your son like Terence does in business with him. So he missed out on time, with his son, now the catching up his son side by side, helping him to build something could really magnificent a good, common goal now and it’s amazing to see this door doing amazing stuff. What I do want to I really want to zoom in and very interesting point you touched in one of your interviews, and I am going to capitalize on it. A lot of coaches think they are coaches because they had personal experience in business, let’s say or personal training, because they’ve been trained, and they applies a personal experience and things they are established coaches now, you have very different point of view on this one, would you like to share?

Bobby Cappuccio 17:23
Yeah, there’s three domains, I think when you’re helping somebody with development, and there’s actually these domains overlap. And if you’ve ever noticed in a lot of major companies, there’s always a training and development department, there’s always learning and development. And people get confused, like, what’s the difference between training? Or what’s the difference between development? And when you ask people that they’re like, well, development is the long term consequence of continual training, it’s not. The three domains are tools, training and development. And training is knowing what to do? What are the process is and what are the skills you need to acquire, where development doesn’t feel so much with the doing aspect, but the being aspect? Who do you need to be, what is the internal work that you need to go through in your life to be able to get access? You know, I’m fascinated with the word access. I had a coach say, you know, 80%, and these are not exact stats, he was using this as an example. He said, 20% of everything is knowing what to do. 80% of it, is getting the access intrinsically, to get yourself to utilize those tools and resources, and actually do what you know you should do. And then you have tools, that’s that’s just what you have to help you get there. So if you’re going to have a bicycle race, and you don’t have a bicycle, but that’s a problem. So the bicycle is a tool. But then you need to understand a little bit about how to race, you have to go through the levels of physical conditioning, you got to understand the rules of the race itself. But then you you need to, when you’re completely spent, we got to know how to dig down deep and push just a little bit harder. And that’s not knowing what to do. That’s a facet of knowing who you need to be in that situation. And when you coach someone, a lot of times, it’s not what you put in, like information, skill sets, it’s what you draw out of somebody. And a lot of times people approach coaching, the way they use their smartphone, it’s like, well, I have this upgrade the software upgrade, I’m going to download it and the person is just going to work better. Sorry, people are a little bit more complicated than that, if only that were true, right. So when you’re dealing with someone you can instruct at which is valuable, which is there’s two factors, there’s knowledge of results, this is what you want to have happen. And then there’s knowledge of performance, what’s actually happening. And I give you instructions, and I give you feedback, and you give it another go. And I see the improvement or lack thereof, I progress you or regress you. But I give you certain cues, where you could start to now shorten that gap between what’s occurring and what you want to have occur. Great. Then there’s teaching, where I’m going to tell you what to do based on my expertise. And expertise is a whole different subject, you’re going to go away and you’re going to apply it, you’re not going to do it in front of me, right? If a nutritionist is going to give you dietary information, you’re not going to eat in front of her. Hopefully, that’s disgusting. But you’re going to go away and you’re going to come back and you’re going to self report what actually occurred. Where the coaching aspect is, I’m going to use tools like inquiry, I’m going to use tools like reflections, I’m going to summarize what you’re saying, I’m going to basically hold a mirror up to you and allow you to draw your own conclusions based on what you already know, you see an expert, a great guy you might want to interview is Dr. Roy Sugarman and he’s very fond of saying, you know, coaching is not about being the sage on the stage. It’s about being the guide by the side. Now there’s room for the sage on the stage, and there’s value there. But in the coaching relationship, if you want to look at it like mythology, the thread, which the fabric of all civilizations is interwoven, is contained within mythology, and stories that have been passed down. So if you look at Joseph Campbell’s assessment and explanation of the hero’s journey, the most important person and then a story. And if you’re listening to this right now, think about your favorite film, right? And then ask yourself, like, you know, I was discussing this with a very geeky person, and they all like Star Wars, you know, the original ones, obviously. And this, you know, who’s, who’s the most important person in that story? And it wasn’t Luke Skywalker, you know, and, and it wasn’t Darth Vader, obviously. I mean, he was definitely the had the coolest outfit. But the most important person in that story was Obi Wan Kenobi. Because he wasn’t the hero. If if he didn’t show up as the guide, you know, it would have been a story about a kid living in a desert, like the rest of his life, after his aunt and uncle were killed. There’s no sequel opportunity for that nobody’s going to show up for round two of that film, are they no one’s going to cue all the way around the corner to see a story like that, that it was the guide, showing up at pivotal moments throughout that storyline to help that hero gain insights and gain, find the courage within himself to keep moving until he faced a pivotal moment, a pivotal decision, look into the is long enough for the Abyss to stare back, and then still move forward. And if you take a look at that, any hero at the end of that story, you know what that’s all about, you become better not just for yourself. But you get to go back to where you came from, and contribute to your tribe, your people, your country, your company. That is the whole lesson of the hero’s journey. And coaches are the guide. They’re not the hero, you are not the expert in your clients life. They’re the expert, you’re there to just help them draw that out.

Terence Toh 23:56
Yeah, probably inclined to agree. I think a big mistake that I see in coaching is that you’re looking at it as information. The way I think about coaching is it’s not information not about just feeding in this information to try to get the outcome that you want. It’s about developing the transformation. That’s right for the person that you’re actually coaching.

Nadia Hughes 24:16
And make these bills on on this transformation rather than in force impose, if the person wants to go through this transformation and ownership of transformation pause not with a coach, but with they transforming

Terence Toh 24:29
It’s for me, yes,

Bobby Cappuccio 24:30
You guys are saying a lot of really important things in my mind. So a lot of things to unpack. I went to work for a CEO years ago, he took over, you know, what’s all going one of if not the largest health club chain in North America. And he was a little bit of a different guy and the job he was recruiting before just it didn’t fit normally. But I went because of who this individual was, and his vision. And one of the things that he really operated on, was that mission statements are kind of incomplete. He wasn’t a big fan of them. And mission statements are you know, there’s simply an answer to a question. Why do we exist? And when you read them, they’re usually about a certain group of people. What we want is this and our mission is or my mission is, he operated from something he referred to as originating intention.

Nadia Hughes 25:30
This is just pause, don’t forget this story. I just want to do something here. Very bad.

Bobby Cappuccio 25:36

Nadia Hughes 25:37
You said you got Tourette. Is it correct?

Bobby Cappuccio 25:39
Yes, yes I do.

Nadia Hughes 25:41
At what point of time did you change your destructive to read words and uses the right words with it. I think he’s still got it. But you throwing very smart words now. It’s a compulsive for you. You are so good with language. But I think there is some superpowers and I think it’s in your Tourette, is it correct ?Can I offend you like that?

Bobby Cappuccio 26:00
Not doesn’t offend me at all. You know, it’s something I’ve thought about quite a bit. It was more present when I was younger, you know, for a lot of reasons. And, you know, I was evaluated not too long ago by a neuroscientist, and he estimated that I’ve had more than half a dozen major concussions, I was put on experimental medication. When I was younger, that destroyed parts of my brain. So I have a lot of brain damage since and as I get older, that’s becoming more and more apparent, and it’s more of a struggle. However, there were aspects and how and I was watching a documentary on Robin Williams, on the plane not too long ago. And I am by no means comparing myself to the genius of Robin Williams. If I had 1% of his capacity, I’d be over the moon. However, when I looked at him, and how he lived his life and what he struggled with, and where he was just an incomprehensible genius. I was like, This guy looks like he has Tourette’s. He looks like he’s a Tourette’s guy that they just stood up in front of the room and let him go. And when I was younger, I had so much impulsivity, an idea a second. And it was almost like I took three adderalls, like first thing every morning. And I lived like that. And I think in some ways, yes. That Yes, Nadia, my Tourette’s has been a tremendous benefits in me.

Nadia Hughes 27:38
So please come back to your wonderful story about why. And that basically, mission statements we will states is when I rudely interrupted you, because I really thought I need to jam this to sink in and make listeners appreciate your intelligence.

Bobby Cappuccio 27:54
No, that’s brilliant, interrupt me at any time. I mean, that’s what Tourette’s is for to be on one place, and then go tangent and then go do this up. Okay, anyway, sorry, that was loud. And then my hotel room, this is like a big Echo, they could use a bit more competent with here to be fair. But anyway, so originating intention, he operated off of what he called the originating intention, which is what you value so deeply. And it’s giving you an experience of so much joy and fulfillment, that it is sacred. And it is so sacred, that you come to the realization that what you want most for yourself, is also what you simultaneously want for everybody else. And that’s how you know, the different See, mission statements are focused on we and me, were originating intention most often starts with the word you, it’s about what I want for you. And by focusing on what I want, and how I can serve you through that medium, it brings out and refines and develops the best within me. And I thought, Wow, that is absolutely beautiful. So and his originating intention for the company, and I have held this sense is you can have what you truly want. And I think that’s a beautiful space for coach is I believe that you have the ability, you have that capacity to identify an actualise, what is most sacred for you. Now, a lot of coaches come from the perspective of you can have what I really want for you. That’s, that’s a little bit skewed. But that’s an interesting perspective. Where I think true coaching is you can have what you truly want. And that’s a different type of space to hold. And there was a couple of other points that you guys made that was interesting to me, but I forgot exactly what they want to because Nadia interrupted me.

Nadia Hughes 30:01
I will do it again and again, because every time I interrupt you, you will come with some nugget.

Terence Toh 30:05
She’s good at it, though.

Nadia Hughes 30:07

Terence Toh 30:09
It’s a well practice skills.

Nadia Hughes 30:11
to interrupt, and I’m just sitting there and I’m actually very irritating for the person to talk to because I suddenly over some find the shiny object in your little speech, you tell me story, you want to take me this way. But I just think there is a potential in this little single you just wave in front of me. And I want to go there. And I know I have to hold that big road for you because you want to be there. But I just let’s take a little detour and it’ll take you back where you want to go at this my style most

Bobby Cappuccio 30:39
Good interviewing skills. When your last night out? Like, seriously in the pub at about like half past nine. I could’ve really used your help. But anyway.

Nadia Hughes 30:51
Well, next time, you just dial my number. I don’t know you’re not helpless, because you can go. So once we have this cost expertise versus personal experience, and it’s not the same, just because you dancing. So when over again, don’t hold yourself and expelled. There is more to it.

Terence Toh 31:08
I think we’ve missed one of the points here, though, which is that like, how are we changing our focus from what’s best for the person? You know, you said you can have what you truly want, right? What’s the best way the best tool, you’ve got to change the focus from what we truly want for someone else. So what they truly want for themselves.

Bobby Cappuccio 31:28
Now, I very rarely answer questions like this, because it really annoys me when people do this. But just do that. If you’re a client, and you know some as well, Oh, you know what, I keep worrying about this and that and the coach goes, well just stop worrying. Yeah, thank you, Captain Obvious. Never occurred to me to stop that. But if you’re a coach, like your intention has to be on what’s most important for that person. So just do that, suspend your own need to project your autobiography into somebody else’s life story. Just stop doing that shit. If you’re the client, like when we tell someone, you just have to believe in yourself. Oh, really? Well, how do I, someone who believes I have no evidence to support this belief in myself, and who struggles with self belief, just go out and just believe I was watching this guy like, like giving a webinar about this. And he’s like, you know, the first thing you need to do is change your beliefs. My beliefs are so hardwired into the patterns in my brain. I might not even be aware of what my beliefs are consciously yet. I’m going to constantly go yeah, I don’t believe that anymore. Wow, that’s easy to you know,I just go to a vending machine that dispenses belief right next to Coca-Cola B4. Okay, got a belief now. Now, problem solved. But yeah, in that case, I guess my short answer, or maybe it’s a cop out is if you’re a coach and you want something for someone more than they want it for themselves, you’ve got an agenda. And that’s different than the Pygmalion effect. It’s different than a high level of expectation, where you expect them like more from somebody than they expect from themselves, you see more in someone, then they see in terms of possibilities for themselves, that’s holding space, that’s part of being a good guide, because what does it guide do, if you need a tour guide to get you through the forest, and you cannot see yourself successfully making that journey based on what you know about, I don’t know, forestry, a really good guide helps you just go as far as you can see, because once you get there, what happens? Oh, now I can see further. So that’s great. But what I’m saying is you have a value that that person doesn’t share, but you think you have the right value, and they have the wrong value.

Nadia Hughes 34:00
Do you think it’s skipped often, that’s gold because they think it’s skipped often. And that’s it. It’s this festival is suspend, you need to project your own autobiography. So there isn’t unrealized. Ego is sitting, ego, ego, ego, ego sits in concert of us. And this is completely this is our attempt of very stick existence through somebody because you haven’t fulfilled ita nd you think this guy got this potential to get me where I want to be if I still can fulfill my ego, because this is me who got him there? Do you think this is what motivates those people to do this style of coaching?

Bobby Cappuccio 34:38
Well, the optimist in me thinks that a lot of people who are doing this, are not doing this because they’re manipulative, and they are, you know, seeking accolade. So they’re looking to boost their own sense of self importance. I think definitely there are people out there like that. And you know, a lot of them are on your social media threads. But I think most people have very good intentions. I think most people look at someone and they’re like, Oh, this worked for me, I know, you can do that. And that’s great. That’s great to hold that space. Because a lot of transformation has a lot to do with the coaches belief in the clients ability to change. But sometimes that comes out in terms of me projecting my worldview on to you and insisting that you should accept it. And it’s easy to do, because you cannot be passionate. You cannot be committed to anything in life and not develop certain biases. You know, the more committed you are and the older you get, the more you become this walking bag of biases. But it’s important to acknowledge that, you know, the first part of being a little bit more unbias is acknowledging that I am in fact bias. Just like you know, authenticity. The first part of being an authentic human being is to acknowledge your areas of inauthenticity. And that’s a hard hurdle. But if we can’t do that, it makes it harder for us to lead someone to where they want to go rather than pushing them in that direction or dragging them whether they want to go or not.

Nadia Hughes 36:24
Great, what I do and tells that to a fact a little bit I got few exciting things I picked up from you’re prior interviews and after the

Bobby Cappuccio 36:33
You’re like cyber stalking me Nadia.

Nadia Hughes 36:36
Is it bad?

Bobby Cappuccio 36:38
No, I kinda like it.

Nadia Hughes 36:39
Well, that’s I will continue doing so if you like it. So emotions up most provocative elements of behaviors. I really want to talk about it because quite often people make decisions based on emotions, which leads to unwanted consequences which both of the parties didn’t intend to come to however they emotional, like hostages sorry like a hijackers, they hijack them and they lead them to completely different path. Can you just unpack this emotion and our biggest business decisions are quite often based on emotions we buy based on emotions and all these, I want your perspective on it? It’s so interesting.

Bobby Cappuccio 37:22
Or I think, as much as we love to think that we all rational, you know, Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economics, something that for someone with a psychology and neuroscience background to do is a little bit unusual. And he did it by proving how absolutely irrational and emotional we are in our decision making and I think I had a very interesting conversation on an interview very similar to this with Joseph. What do you mean to have like a conversation?

Nadia Hughes 37:55
Similar to ours. Some simple?

Bobby Cappuccio 37:57
Yes. Well, it’s impossible to have a conversation with someone similar to you. However, this forum is what I meant. I meant, like, you know, like this type of interview.

Nadia Hughes 38:09
Fine, keep going. Yeah. Ok.

Bobby Cappuccio 38:11

Anyway, that’s I had a conversation with Joseph, who is one of the foremost neuroscience scientists in the world. He’s probably one of the most widely quoted incited neuroscientist still living today. And he said that, you know, he was comparing it to exercise because he knew my backgrounds in the fitness industry. And he said, you know, as a trainer, and this was so insightful. If somebody comes in, and I don’t know, let’s say they want to work on a body part. And he was like, what’s that? I want to make my arms bigger, my biceps? What do you need to know? Where are you going to look as a trainer first, he’s like, you can regurgitate an exercise. But that’s not real expertise. Or you can take a look at the anatomy and say that anatomy that structure dictates function. I’m like, Wow, very insightful, you know? And he said, Well, it’s the same thing with the brain. If you want to understand why people behave the way they do, a lot of times, you know, people jumped to and he wasn’t saying this, I’m adding this, they jumped to character or they moralize, but look at the anatomy of the brain. And he said, if you look at the structures connecting the limbic system of the brain, which is more your emotional brain center, to oversimplify it, and how it connects to your prefrontal lobes, which is your executive decision making part of the brain, there are a thick bundle of a sending pathways, which structurally dictate that the emotional centers of the brain have more influence. In times of arousal, not just sexual arousal, I mean, any type of arousal, we know that about sexual arousal, so But anyway, has more influence in times of arousal over your thinking centers of the brain, then you’re thinking centers structurally impact your emotional centers. And this is because in a crisis, speed is more important than accuracy. Like if I’m walking with my tribe, through thick forest, and I hear rustling in the bushes, you know, we don’t have time to go, hey, let’s think about that. What What could that be? Could that be the wind, or I don’t know, maybe my foot quarter, it could be a tiger, just frickin run, run. And if it’s not a tiger, okay, you look like a bunch of idiots. It’s prehistoric times. There’s like 600 people in the world, nobody’s going to see you anyway. But if it was that either, you saved your life by reacting emotionally, and very quickly. And so yes, emotions, or the most powerful drivers of behaviors, the most expeditious influences of behaviors, if you will.

Nadia Hughes 41:06
That’s funny, everything else develops, but we still so archaic in our emotions, this is what I can’t understand. We are holding, so interactive was of personal development, this ability to manage the emotions, which very archaic and sort of modernize some?

Bobby Cappuccio 41:23
Well, I mean, evolution takes time. It takes many, many, many generations. And I know there’s research that disputes that, but for the most part, we have primitive brains, living in modern times, there’s going to be challenges with that, you know, the environment that we evolved to thrive in is not exactly the one that we’re living in. And there’s no User’s Manual for this thing. So yeah, it can be problematic, Nadia.

Nadia Hughes 41:58
And let’s, let’s think of one to talk about his confirmational bias. It’s really interesting phenomena. I see a lot of people caught in it and talking sometimes to certain people, it’s doesn’t matter what you will do, whether you’re right or wrong in your own will, they have slotted you in certain pattern, and you’re not going to get out of this button in there as ever?

Bobby Cappuccio 42:22
Well, I think a lot of times it, let me just first state that, you know, I have a couple of presuppositions around what influences change, or what stops change from occurring. And it’s more complicated in this, but the three things that I take a look at is teleology, ontology and continuity. What that means is, one, like I said before, what is someone’s highest values? And what human needs are most important for them to be met? Or are not being met? That’s a major influencer of what people do or don’t do. Two is ontology, like what we need, like, Where do I belong? What’s my sense of identity? You know, what’s the group I belong to? And we get so much safety and security from this. We defend it violently, literally violently. Sometimes, I mean, we see this with different religions, we see this with different political views. Like, you know, we’re becoming so much more polarized left versus right, that you’re like a mental case, if you’re a moderate some, the middle, those are the real different people. I think people on the far left, the far right, you’re pretty much the same person with different opinions, the moderates, okay, they are crazy. And even the foods we eat, like, you know, paleo versus vegan, it almost becomes like a religious battle, like a holy war over different dietary preferences. I mean, it gets so serious that if you were to walk a paleo in the same room with a vegan, they would fight so fiercely, the Paleo would eventually eat, the vegan just would have happened. So it’s like we do all these things, because we identify the core of our being with this. And a lot of times when we have certain positive experiences and things become very meaningful to us, and we associated with certain information, belief systems, practices, or people we associate with, because social support is a powerful influencer on behavior environment is a powerful influence or on behavior that, you know, one of the main keys to transformation is affiliation. So you start to develop these worldviews and anything that’s contrary to your worldview or perspective, you start to see as a threat, and how do you respond to a threat? Fight or Flight you either extricate yourself from these people? I don’t associate with people that believe this, you know, how dare you force me to eat lettuce? It’s my life I’ll do is I damn please, or you fight these people. And, you know, auto Sharma and his books, here, you refers to cognitive biases as downloading. I only download information that supports what I already think and belief. I only hang out with people that support what I think or believe, you know, I only read books that support what I think or believe. Well, eventually, you’re in a very tight echo chamber, where what you consider to be the learning and growing is the opposite. It’s actually just reinforcing, you know, you can’t live the same life, have the same experiences and think the same thoughts. But you do that with greater frequency and intensity and say that somehow I’m growing, you know, sometimes the person with a very different opinion. I mean, and I said this once, and I got so much hate mail for it. And that’s cool, because it’s fun to read, they’re usually entertaining. The best thing or conservative can do is sit down and have a chat with a liberal, not have a debate, not have an argument, but have a chat and a liberal with a conservative, you know, like Christian, Muslim, vegan, paleo. And if you could ever suspend the attachment to your worldview and go, Okay, well, this, let’s assume this person is not a complete psychopath, that they’re actually an intelligent person that has a different perspective, based on different experiences and interpretations that’s where learning is going to take place.

Nadia Hughes 46:36
This is where neural plasticity happens because you challenging your past ways of thinking, and your brain expands and I always encourage this diversity of thought. And I think if I am I know, this is where I can’t reconcile yet fully. The notion with find your tribe, what is your tribes? And is it all like minded people, but I don’t want like minded people, I want different model people around me, that is totally opposite to me, that’s why I value his opinion, because he knows things I don’t know, I never will be expecting this serious and opposite would also applies probably to him. I hope so. But it’s just an assumption. So what I hear from you is, I find person who thinks supports my, I’m a bit confirmational little exercise here, confirmational bias with you because I suddenly hear something I wanted to hear. And it’s another paradox I’m throwing in there. It’s pleases me to hear what you’re saying, which means I am excited about being a like in this little aspect about thinking,

Bobby Cappuccio 47:46
You know, I think you can have both. When you’re looking for tribe, and you’re building a culture, you have to ask yourself. Well, what is a culture because that’s another thing we talked about all the time. Culture is so important, and it is culture is critical. You know, that Peter Drucker, one of the greatest business thinkers, in my, in many people’s opinions of the 20th century, you know, said that culture eats strategy for breakfast. But what exactly do you mean when you say the word culture. And, you know, I think culture refers to a group of people that share common beliefs, they follow certain rules, not rules that are imposed upon them, but rules that they accept as part of that tribe, if you want to use that word. And those beliefs and rules produce certain predictable behaviors. And you within a culture within a tribe, there are people with different perspectives and different abilities. I mean, you know, you have your UF hunters, but you have gatherers, you have people who can make things, you know, you need all of these people. And it’s possible to share a common vision with a group of people, but have very different opinions about how to go about fulfilling that vision. One of the things one of my bosses consultancy brought in someone, and he was coaching me when I was a very young manager. And one thing she said is, if you have two people on your team who think exactly the same fire one of them who needs that level of redundancy, I thought that was pretty funny. You know, he, I don’t think he was being slightly facetious when he said that, but he made a very good point, you know, because the stupidest advice I’ve ever gotten, is you want to find someone just like you, and just make them a clone of yourself.

Nadia Hughes 49:40
This is where business owners have this edge to find somebody just like them to replace them. Reality he’s, they need to find the few people actually.

Terence Toh 49:54
This is really, this is really interesting, because I get this a lot. If I’m there could climb myself, you know, my business would be running amazing and that’s probably not the wider running right?

Nadia Hughes 50:04
It’s confirmational bias.

Bobby Cappuccio 50:07
Well, you know, what, I’m a little bit, you know, I’m a little bit more forgiving about this. Because I spent the early part of my career as a manager, then a senior manager, and, you know, I was doing very well operating and other people’s companies and and as an entrepreneur, you know, you start your own business, and you’re like, Oh, I’m really good here. But this is very different and I’m getting my ass kicked. And I kind of understand where other entrepreneurs are coming from. If you know that your system needs to duplicate itself, right, you have to scale your business. So if you’re looking to hire someone who follows the same exact systems and policies and strategies that you do, great, I understand that. Could you imagine trying to get a latte on a Friday night, at a coffee shop, let’s just say Starbucks anywhere in the world, if that 19 year old kid behind the bar didn’t go through a very specific training program, and was allowed to bring their creativity. I mean, you in some, in some cases, you would get a brilliant latte and in some cases, you would get a latte that is completely shocking. And you know, nobody in Melbourne is going to tolerate that shit. Because you take your coffee quite seriously. And, and well done there. But, you know, I think when you talk about someone who shares my my vision, my values, someone who shares my principles, I get that. But if you’re not going to hire people who think differently than you as well, and who are smarter than you, and let them think, because you hire them, because they are smarter than you and they are more capable than you, your business isn’t going to be able to have the diversity and therefore flexibility and speed of adaptation that you need to compete in the marketplace. So I understand where people come from, when they say that, and I understand where people come from, when they have a completely different opinion. And I think the older I get, I stopped seeing the world as this or this, it’s and both are correct. And I think you need elements of both, in any organization in any group of people, you know, trying to do pretty much anything.

Nadia Hughes 52:29
In order for replicates the same outcome, you need similar processes, which this is what I wish to me was was there. But in order to grow to next level, and we talking about, you have to employ this law of denying everything you believe in and go to next level up. And you know, my favorite laws, laws of dialectics by giggles, so I know three of them, and they always the bill every time.

Bobby Cappuccio 52:57
I’ve known people and of course, I’m not going to mention that I’m but I’m thinking about this one guy and

Nadia Hughes 53:03
What’s his name?

Bobby Cappuccio 53:04
I’m not gonna mention it because I love this guy. But for a guy who’s so intelligent, and whenever you’re super, super intelligent in one area or two areas, you probably deficient in a few others, and his business would have grown so much if he didn’t have to control absolutely everything and if he allowed himself to listen to the ideas and expertise of the people he he hired around him. But that’s all I have to say on

Terence Toh 53:38
This is Steve Jobs, quite a pretty sure it was Steve Jobs. I don’t want to hire smart people to tell him what to do. I want to hire smart people. So they can tell me what really

Bobby Cappuccio 53:46
Yeah, exactly. Why would you go through the trouble of hiring someone who has the capacity to be an A player, just to supervise exactly, not only what they do, but how they think.

Terence Toh 53:59
The other point that I keep thinking about as you’re talking about this stuff is hearing about people saying, if want to hire someone, there never is, you know, they just don’t operate at the same level as may, I can only expect 80%. You know, when you hire someone, and I hear that with hiring teams, probably too often not all the time, but too often more often than they used to be. And the way I think about it is that if you put together a good team, you won’t get somebody who’s going to do everything 100% the way that you do it, or 100% as well the way that you do it, but they could maybe do some things twice as well as you right in specific areas, particularly random, right. And when you put together a team, you are increasing, significantly increasing, in fact, exponentially increasing your capabilities by putting together the right team, rather than trying to put to put together these, what we call them clones that are all just like you, you can have people in particular areas that a operate better than you, if you will let them be better than you, it’s probably part of it, if you just let go and let them be better than you. But that’s the whole purpose of building a team, let’s build up people around us and bring something else to this game.

Bobby Cappuccio 55:13
I think whenever you see a business grow to a certain capacity, you’re dealing with a group of people that have done exactly what you just said, I mean, we use Starbucks, so let’s use them as another example. You know, they had to have done that. Could you imagine Howard Schultz in the early days going up, man, no one’s gonna make a latte as good as me, I’m gonna make every latte and he’s like driving around town, like he’s got his foot on the accelerator going from shop to shop, I don’t think Starbucks would have grown to the entity it is today. If that was his mentor, at some point, you’re going to have to do that. And I don’t think everybody has to grow their business like that, you know, but at some point, you’re going to have to think a little bit like that.

Nadia Hughes 55:57
What they actually did like about this point you have mentioned it’s by hitting diverse people around you, you increase your chances of exercise and this adaptability muscle they changes which will be it’s one of the future is which I’m inviting the podcast is he’s going to come basically said and that the change will come from peripheral. You are not it’s not going to slam you in the face, it’s sneak on you from some peripheral and people with different with if your team is diverse, you have more chances to support the change coming catch you rather than being so my youth they can settle in one direction. This is where I think the way of thinking and the cancellation for me lies we in this two agendas. So we had really productive flow chart. Would you like to ask something else? Would you like to ask us about something because you really wanted to interview me?

Bobby Cappuccio 56:54
Well, okay, so here’s one thing, what was the turning point for you? I’ll start with the initial question that you had for me or the conversation early on. When you show up in another country, not speaking the language, with just one bag of clothing. That’s tragic for any girl. What was the incident or realization, where you went from that girl to who you are today, someone who in your own right is very successful and very well respected.

Nadia Hughes 57:34
The turning point was really this would has driven me is being the person the same person feels the same way I felt in Russia, in Russia I was a journalist I was surrounded by smart thinkers a really intelligent people interesting and I could approach people like yourself and have is the most amazing interview. And when I came here, I was looked down upon I was beaten up like a dog and just basically the jokes, the projections, the deceptions of Russian woman and everything was here. So I had to cope with so I developed mechanism where I basically was trying to my think was why my driving force behind the dome was obviously my children. I was using every possible contraception yet I still was falling pregnant, and nothing I could do about it. So at the end, I had four kids I had to provide for and I couldn’t rely on my husband one person so that’s very bad. Oh, it’s for me, if something happens to him, this for kids have to survive. So this was my driving force behind everything. So I was one of those, you know, dogs? Have you seen dogs with those teeths hanging out where she needs to feed her puppies. I was one of those ugly dogs who just was desperate to get some way and then I know use it. They’re not going to learn from me, I will tell them or be these be successful be everything. I have to teach them in action, how it has to happen and that’s what was driving.

Bobby Cappuccio 59:12

Nadia Hughes 59:14
Less than open. But this is what it was probably image of the the beach with scanning fits wasn’t really good. But it’s the highlight of the podcast.

Bobby Cappuccio 59:23
Yeah, it definitely leaves a visual impression. You know, I think that one of our early points on coaching, so resonates with that story. Because you look at people who, and you come to conclusions about who they are, without really knowing anything about them or their story. And, you know, I think we’ve all known people and I’ve known people who like hopeless, they can’t hold down a job, they’re in and out of relationships, you know, excessive abuse of, you know, whatever, whatever alcohol, but there’s people like threaten they coach, they try to inspire, they do interventions, nothing works. And something happens with this person, like they have a child. And all of a sudden, there is a value, or a an expression of a value that shows up in their life. And this person is completely transformed. I had someone who I worked with, who I was extremely attracted to. I’m not just I’m not talking about like physically, just there was this electric banter and and this woman was so playful and intelligent, and principled and hard working and I just wanted to know more about her and it was like for her. Her story was she was always about the next party, the next drink and you know, she got pregnant. And she was like, Oh, no, I, the last thing I want in this world is a kid. That is the last thing. And so she’s like, I better get married, you know, so she decides to marry this guy. And on her wedding day, he left her at the altar. He didn’t show and she was very pregnant at this point. He does not even show up. And I can’t imagine how it felt to be her. But I’ve tried because like, this is someone who I have so much affection for. And she’s just like, my life is ruined. And like even like going into labor, it’s like, and then she has this baby. And she looks at this little girl and falls in love. And it’s like, you know, her life didn’t get better at that point. But she completely changed. She got better at that point and she became this extraordinary person. She owns like several properties. You know, she’s in she’s, she’s like a vice president of a very prominent company. Like literally turned her life around because she changed right there. Because there was something so meaningful that she embraced it in the moments of intense pleasure and embraced it even in moments of intense suffering. And I think you know, Viktor Frankl said that despair is suffering in the absence of meaning. And I think when you suffer in the presence of meaning, it doesn’t cause despair, but it reinforces it strengthens it empowers.

Nadia Hughes 1:02:46
That’s very nice way to finish our podcast. It’s very powerful like some of this is and medium. It’s all about us humans moving cast. It’s our meaning of life and on purpose. Anything else to add?

Terence Toh 1:03:01
No, amazing.

Nadia Hughes 1:03:01
I’m just motionless, it really I’m speechless after this one goosebumps. Because it’s so relevant to my experience.

Bobby Cappuccio 1:03:09
I got nothing else to say.

Terence Toh 1:03:13
No, that’s all good. I think we’ve covered a lot. We really appreciate your time, Bobby and

Bobby Cappuccio 1:03:16
Thank you so much. I enjoyed this.

Terence Toh 1:03:18
You being

Nadia Hughes 1:03:19
Did you really enjoy it?

Bobby Cappuccio 1:03:21
I wouldn’t say, I’m not one of those people that say Hey, that was great. If it really wasn’t.

Terence Toh 1:03:26
That was great and then you get off. Yeah. So Bobby, we really appreciate you being so generous sharing not just your time, but all of that knowledge offer or thoughts and

Nadia Hughes 1:03:41
You absolutely amazing what I will tell you when I was sitting in the audience when I first time, watch you and you said your face was deformed and everything and I go wow, this guy is really looking forward. And those by the way those guns, they could have to have license on them. But anyway, this this is the thing, when you start talking about your life. And then my goodness is just, it’s the only presentation. Craig, I’m sorry, I was like lapses of attention was happening sometimes on others. But it was the presentation which just really captivated me. And I haven’t changed since then it’s still stayed the same. So I hope to have you one day again to tell the actual story and if you mind just don’t be hangover anymore, but also for being amazing today. So be hangover.

Bobby Cappuccio 1:04:30
Thank you. Thank you, Nadia.

Terence Toh 1:04:31
Bobby, before you go how can our listener connect with you?

Bobby Cappuccio 1:04:35
Well, I’m on all you know, all the major social media platforms that the kids are crazy about today. And you know, Instagram and Facebook. I’m on LinkedIn. Yeah. You could find me, Bobby Cappuccio.

Terence Toh 1:04:48
Awesome. Alright, thanks for that.

Nadia Hughes 1:04:50
Thank you.

Terence Toh 1:04:51
Talk to you again soon.

Narrator 1:04:54
Thanks for listening to the Unfair Advantage Project. For more curated resources, visit us at


About Us
The Business Coach.
Terence is the founder and Managing Director of StrategiQ Corporation, a serial entrepreneur and experienced business operator who has founded, bought, grown and sold several … see more


About Us
The Super Nerd.
Are you passionate about the ins and outs out of taxation legislation? With Nadia by your side, you don’t need to be. Accounting and financial planning isn’t just her … see more

Get notified when we release new episodes of the UNFAIR ADVANTAGE PROJECT