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Stand Out

Jan 1, 2022

Joining us in conversation today is Ron Friedman, social psychologist, former academic, speaker, and author. He is here to share wisdom from his latest book, Decoding Greatness, where he draws on his research into pattern recognition, skills acquisition, and creative genius, to discuss insights about high-performing athletes, musicians, chefs, and business leaders. Tune in to hear Ron's thoughts on the purpose of collecting, his opinion on productivity programs, and how he feels about marketing his writing. Ron talks about the fallacy that commercial success reflects the quality of your work and why we believe it, as well as why the pandemic has hampered our collective creative growth. We touch on the debate around whether we should all return to the office or not, and Ron reveals some of the secrets behind his writing process. He also tells us why Don Draper’s “derivative with a twist” is the sweet spot of creativity, and shares who he considers to be his greatest influences. Find out what he hopes the book will give readers: plenty of practical tools, and an opportunity to demystify the great works that have inspired them. Join us today to hear all this and more.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to today’s guest, social psychologist, academic, and author, Ron Friedman. [00:00:29]
  • Ron shares what forms part of his collector landscape: books and stories. [00:03:10]
  • The purpose of collecting which is to look for insights beyond the surface. [00:04:11]
  • Some of the productivity programs that are gaining traction like Mem and Notion. [00:07:15]
  • What it is like for Ron to revisit his book during podcast interviews. [00:09:20]
  • How Ron feels about the marketing piece of being an author: he would rather not! [00:10:38]
  • The fallacy that commercial success is equal to quality work and why we fall for it. [00:12:24]
  • Economic uncertainty and anxiety as factors that have limited creative growth during the pandemic. [00:13:15]
  • What Ron thinks about the debate around whether we should return to the office. [00:15:15]
  • Ron’s writing process and how he illustrates ideas with stories. [00:18:00]
  • Why derivative with a twist is the ideal sweet spot. [00:18:40]
  • One of the arguments in the book: you should have license to experience broadly. [00:20:35]
  • Pliio, the folding tool product that Clare designed which never took off. [00:23:05]
  • Who he considers his greatest influences as a writer and creative. [00:25:15]
  • Deconstructing TEDtalks according to Ron. [00:29:18]
  • His hope for the book: to give you practical tools and demystify the great works that have inspired you. [00:30:02]
  • Where you can find out more about the book and purchase it with a free course. [00:30:54]
  • An invitation to reach out and give us feedback so that we can improve our podcast. [00:33:14]



Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Ron Friedman

Ron Friedman on Twitter

Decoding Greatness

The Best Place to Work




Happy Space Podcast Facebook Group