Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people and teams break through to the next level—and others don’t. The definitive treatment of this issue is addressed in his New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Greg hosts The Essentialism Podcast and is the CEO of McKeown Inc., with clients including Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, Pixar,, Symantec, Twitter, VMware and Yahoo!. Originally from London, England, he now lives in Calabasas, California with his wife, Anna, and their four children, where he serves as an elders quorum president.


4:50 – Greg’s leadership journey since being a bishop in Menlo Park four years ago
5:35 – What is Greg’s ward doing to adapt to the COVID restrictions?
6:32 – Go small, lessons learned from being bishop Greg applies to working as elder’s quorum president
8:10 – Celebrate every success helped increase home teaching statistics; no need to repeat failed scolding – it doesn’t work
9:59 – Change is not the same as progress; abrupt change is false economy; better to avoid predictable problems of big changes
10:31 – Family history small change was to ask people to pray for ancestors every day and sign in to family search for thirty days
13:13 – A tiny beginning helped people rise to whatever level or time commitment they were able to; efforts to inspire members to greater heights just overwhelms them and does not produce more family history
13:55 – In leadership taking small steps is underutilized; people feel overwhelmed and don’t start; as a leader, look for the tiniest thing we can do in one minute to improve in this area and celebrate that action
15:12 – It’s better to take one minute’s step of progress to talk about it an hour and then do nothing
16:10 – We become more professional in talking about the subject, but not in doing it
17:31 – Have a grand vision, but match it with the tiniest steps; the grandest the vision, the smaller the first step
18:08 – We ought not let courageous moments cloud from our vision what was going on the majority of the time
18:50 – Greg reflects on his time as bishop
19:23 – Human suffering is universal
19:55 – If you think someone is fine, it’s probably because you don’t actually know them very well
20:19 – We should build relationships that let us become aware of other people’s suffering; show consistent kindness
21:47 – You learn people who didn’t appear to struggle are struggling
22:54 – Small things, being a friend, asking questions, consistency
24:15 – What can bishops do when a member brings suffering to his office?
26:45 – It’s very easy when creating things to not be honest about what can realistically be accomplished by a ward council
27:39 – Can you put the plan on a week’s calendar?
28:35 – Ward councils can become “siloed” and focused on their own groups
29:52 – Greg turns the tables and questions Kurt
31:08 – What is something that is essential to Kurt that he is underinvesting in?
33:07 – Kurt describes his concerns about connecting with his children
34:24 – Why does it matter?
35:35 – Predictable problems could be insured against
36:52 – What does measurable success in fathering look like to you, Kurt?
38:32 – What’s the additional work you need to do to close the gap between what you’re doing now and what success would feel like?
40:52 – What specifically does that look like?
42:43 – When is enough, enough?
44:59 – What is you were to ask your oldest children how am I doing?
47:24 – Tiny mechanisms help us change
48:54 – It’s easier to get trapped into grandiose commitments
49:36 – People are dealing with all kinds of unexpected challenges
50:26 – Brain chemistry and response to challenge/fear — a narrowing of options to fight, flight, or freeze
51:46 – Must trick the brain into not responding with fear by making very small changes
52:21 – There is no upside in making people have more fear or guilt
53:29 – Relieving to think something can be accomplished
54:05 – We need to repent of thinking that great results come from great big sacrifices; the majority of faithful membership in the church is long haul
55:52 – Training video on one-minute missionary work
56:51 – We may not believe the Lord when he says his yoke is easy and my burden is light
58:07 – Would we say our calling in the Church is “easy” or “light”? Is there a different way?
59:02 – Greg’s experience with a woman who was returning to activity asking for a calling; she would serve heavily for a few years, take a break, and come back
1:00:21 – When we read scripture we see heroic moments and think that’s how our lives ought to be
1:01:22 – It’s better to do a little than to feel guilty for not doing a lot
1:02:20 – Be encouraged; there is another way forward; we can experience gospel living the way Jesus said it could be
1:04:03 – Jesus Christ will make the miracles happen


Being an Essentialism Bishop | An Interview with Greg McKeown
The Essentialism Podcast
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
One-Minute Missionary Work videos

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