1722 – Improving Performance with Paul Teasdale

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Podcast Host, Speaker & Business Coach Paul Teasdale.

Teasdale wide

Paul's work is as unique as his background. He takes insights from his experience in high-performance teams, specifically in Formula 1, and makes them accessible to leaders and teams looking to improve their performance.

His approach is multi-tiered, starting with speaking engagements to introduce insights from Formula 1, followed by facilitation and workshops to help organizations apply those insights to their situations.

Paul's interest in Formula 1 goes beyond the typical fan's perspective. He appreciates the high-performance aspect of the sport and enjoys watching the nuances and behind-the-scenes details.

These give him a different perspective on the commentary and strategies, and he believes that good commentating doesn't always align with the reality of the situation.

Paul speaks for a variety of organizations, covering a range of topics. His unique blend of experience and insights from Formula 1 make him a sought-after speaker and facilitator. His work is all about helping organizations improve their performance through data-driven decision-making and the application of high-performance team methodologies.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Introduction of Paul Teasdale and his work in high-performance teams, specifically in Formula 1
  • Paul's multi-tiered approach to helping organizations improve their performance
  • Paul's background in operations management, consulting, banking, and Formula 1
  • The importance of data-driven decision making in Formula 1 and how Paul helps organizations apply that approach
  • Paul's interest in Formula 1 and his perspective on the sport as a non-fanatic
  • Comparisons between sausage making and the fast-moving consumer goods industry in terms of measuring performance
  • The importance of measuring the right things to drive desired behaviors and results
  • Examples of how measuring the wrong things can lead to poor behaviors in industries like banking

About Paul Teasdale:

Paul Teasdale is a seasoned professional with seven years of experience working with the Formula 1 team McLaren. He brings a wealth of knowledge from his diverse background, having collaborated with various high-performance organizations in fields such as sausage making and banking.

Based in the UK and New Zealand, Teasdale offers valuable insights to help people enhance their performance. His expertise extends to practical tips for implementing an F1 mindset within organizations.

With a rich tapestry of experiences, he shares compelling stories, ranging from the world of Formula 1 to the impact of sausage making on the business banking sector.

Whether seeking advice on organizational strategies or engaging anecdotes that blend different industries, Paul Teasdale provides a unique perspective that resonates with audiences seeking inspiration and practical wisdom.

Tweetable Moments:

05:36 – “I think so many of us end up making a lot of our decisions purely, well, or predominantly based on emotion, whether we believe it or not.”

12:40 – “Think about the standards that you're using and how that can impact the performance that you're trying to drive and the results, but most of all, the behaviors.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Paul Teasdale at

Check out Paul Teasdale on LinkedIn at

Check out Paul Teasdale on Twitter at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, Paul Teasdale. Paul, you are a speaker, you're a facilitator. And you know a lot about F1, which we'll talk about a little bit. Your website, Paul, is Paul Teasdale, Paul, it's a delight to have you.

Paul (00:01:15) - Absolute pleasure to be on today. Josh, thanks for having me.

Josh (00:01:18) - Absolutely. We're recording this. The kids have just been put to bed by the way. So thank you so much for recording this at such a late hour. But it's great to have you. Would you mind Paul, maybe sharing just a bit about the work that you do today and who you serve?

Paul (00:01:32) - Yeah, sure. Well, I primarily take my insight to my experience from high performance teams, particularly those years that I spent in the world of F1, and I make those insights accessible to people so that they can apply it for themselves. So I work with leaders and with teams who are looking for that performance edge, who are looking to be able to take a different insight in a different view of performance and apply it to their own organization so that they can drive their own performance and accelerate the way they work. So that's what I do. I help people get performance to be accessible to them.

Josh (00:02:10) - Yeah. And what does that look like? What does like how do you work with people. Like what are you coaching with them? Or tell me more about how your business operates.

Paul (00:02:18) - Yeah. Well, I offer a sort of multi-tiered approach. So easiest way generally as a sort of speaker, it might be a lunch and learn or a sort of get to know the team gets know some insights from the world of Formula One. There's some great stories to be had from there, either around high performance teams or high performance leadership. That tends to get a lot of interest and gets people intrigued, but then I can help follow that up with how do you actually apply that to your organization? How do you apply it to your team or your situation? And that's where a lot of the facilitation, the workshops, even the bigger programs of work, if I'm working with larger organizations as well, where I can take teams through the various steps that I've brought together through my learnings in high performance and help them apply them for themselves.

Josh (00:03:06) - Yeah.

Josh (00:03:06) - Tell me about your background and how that makes you uniquely qualified to do the work that you do. Give us some good F1 stories because I can't imagine.

Josh (00:03:16) - Well, I hope you will tell us a bit about what that environment and that culture is like.

Paul (00:03:22) - Yep. Well, the world of F1, I mean, there's some great people who have that experience and share that experience in F1. I like to distinguish myself, and I'm probably the only person who has combined sausage making and banking and formula one and bring all of those insights together in a way that makes those accessible to people. So my background prior to the world of F1 was in operations management. I was a manufacturing manager in a sausage factory for a number of years, but I've also done everything from consulting internally and externally with organizations. Spent a number of years in New Zealand, where I worked for a big dairy company before making a shift into banking and and applying my learnings from the sausage world into the banking world, which I've got a few stories about. There. And then when the wife and I decided to move back to the UK, we reached out to the network. A friend of mine worked for and still works for McLaren.

Paul (00:04:20) - The Formula One team put me in touch with somebody, and I got the opportunity to work with them for nearly seven years, applying their ways of working, their methodologies and their stories and bringing some of the technologies to wider industry. And so I was the sort of front face of those engagements, working with everything from supermarket shelf stacking to oil and gas drilling and airport operations, areas where people want to apply a different level of thinking, and particularly around data driven decisions, which is something that Formula One is particularly known for. And how do you make fast decisions? How do you make predictive decisions based on detailed analytics? And that's what I do now. I work by myself to bring all of those lessons together. The F1 angle gets a lot of interest, but you know, there's there's lots of interest from the world of sausages and from banking as well.

Josh (00:05:13) - So yeah, tell me a bit more about what can we learn from F1 or the F1 culture about this rapid, data driven decision making? Because that sounds ideal.

Josh (00:05:26) - I think so many of us end up making a lot of our decisions purely, well, or predominantly based on emotion, whether we believe it or not.

Paul (00:05:36) - Yeah. So one of the key lessons I took from my my time there is one of these counterintuitive stories. If you think about the amount of data that's in the world of F1, it's huge, huge amounts of data, huge amount of analytics. And yet when you get behind the scenes, they use the term small data a lot. So what they're actually looking for is the smallest possible data set. And the reason for that is that the more data you generate from the car, the more sensors you need, the more weight you have on the car, the lower your performance. And so you've got to approach things a little differently in order to make sure that your return on investment when you're investing in data is going to pay off for you. So what we were doing there, and this is the approach that I've taken in my independent data, is to say, right.

Paul (00:06:23) - Switch this data driven and data led approach to something that is more results led. So start with your results. And this is the rapid model that I work with and I've generated which is results actions people insights and data. And I this is I do lots of talks on this. The workshops are in this space as well. It's how do you get clear really clear on the results you're trying to drive.

Josh (00:06:48) - One of the things I think is going to be really a critical part of that is not making decisions in a vacuum, like I believe in the power of executive decisions. And, you know, I've had really good conversations about this, like, how are you able to pull in the people and the resources and the data that you need rapidly, and you still want to make executive decisions, right? Like if you're let's say that you're behind the wheel and you're a driver, would you mind maybe kind of sharing that and how that might be an illustration of this principle? Because at the end of the day, the driver needs to make those decisions, right.

Josh (00:07:26) - But they're not doing it just based on gut instinct alone.

Paul (00:07:30) - Indeed. And it is a team effort. And quite often, if I give an example of one that's quite easy to imagine if you know anything about F1, and I know very little, probably know more than a few people, but I'm not. Don't call myself an F1 fan either, which is an interesting piece in its own right because I'm a fan of performance, not necessarily F1. And if you think about the pit stop and the decision, are we going to pit the car now or not? Now what's happening in the world of F1 is you've got what's called mission control, which as you can imagine, the sort of NASA big office, huge screens in front of people, loads of data coming in, and people are analyzing that data in real time, doing predictive analytics, doing some great stuff with the technology that they've got to say. The data says now's a good time to pit, and the data says if you pit now, you're going to come out into traffic or are you going to come out into clean air, as they call it, but the decision is still with a person, and that person is there to wrap their intelligence around what the data is telling them.

Paul (00:08:33) - And a lot of that intelligence is either experiential intelligence or situational intelligence. So they can say if it's experience, they can might bring in. Actually the data says that for us. But I can see what's happening. I can I know what's happening with Ferrari and they're going to do something different. So if we hold off now then we can get one up on them later. Or it might be situational, which is the data is based off a some weather data that says it's about to start raining now. But I can see your weather data is coming from a station that's a mile away from the track. I can see we're still dry, so if we can get 2 or 3 more laps out of this before it starts to rain, then then we'll get better performance. So it's that I'm there in the moment. I can see stuff that the data can't see, and so it's there to understand. The data leads you in a certain area, but you still need human intelligence wrapped around it.

Josh (00:09:28) - Yeah.

Josh (00:09:29) - Paul I'm curious. So you're you're in England. Where do you watch most of your F1 races today? Is there a pub, do the pub show the F1 races, or do you kind of just watch at home?

Paul (00:09:40) - So pubs don't tend to to show the F1? It's a bit too long winded for them, but yeah, it's a home thing. I've had the privilege of watching some of the races from Mission Control and see those decisions being made in real time and but yeah, it's an amazing sport. It's amazing team and an amazing environment where everybody is so focused. And so you talk about the culture earlier on, the culture is there that everybody knows what they're there to do. Everybody knows their position in helping the thing that everybody is driving towards, which is that win and that that performance on the track. And so that is a key thing. I think that a lot of businesses outside of F1 can really challenge themselves on. Is, is everybody really clear on the where we're driving for here and how each part fits in to what we're trying to achieve?

Josh (00:10:33) - Yeah.

Josh (00:10:33) - What is it like watching an F1 race with you?

Paul (00:10:37) - And as I say, you know, I don't call myself a fan on the basis that I'm not a fanatic. Right? I you know, I know a lot of people, my brother in law and my wife's side of the family are big motor heads and petrolheads, and they've grown up loving the sport throughout the years. I never had that. I've seen the epitome of high performance that is formula one, and the ability to be in that team is amazing. So I, I tend to be relatively quiet when I'm watching things. I'm looking for the nuances. There's interesting once you start getting behind the scenes and hearing what the commentators are saying, and knowing what's really happening behind the scenes is it's like, yeah, you're thinking that. But yeah, you're probably they're probably. Got something else up their sleeve here, but fascinating. What makes good commentating doesn't necessarily make the right. Yeah.

Josh (00:11:29) - So. Right right right right. So you know another really interesting again kind of part of your story is working in the sausage industry.

Josh (00:11:39) - Can you share just a bit about that and what today's business leaders might be able to glean from your experience? I kind of like what you learn and what wisdom you might be able to impart from that time.

Paul (00:11:52) - Sausage making. It's like any FMcG environment. You're just making product on a day to day basis and you're measuring and managing performance. And this is what I brought to the banking world. And what I share with a lot of people is a lot of mistakes I see in organizations is that they measure and manage, not necessarily the right things. They're not measuring performance in the correct way. That helps them drive the behaviors that are going to lead to the results that they want. And so in banking, for instance, they were measuring dollars lent quite a lot because it's an easy metric. You can see that. But what it led to was some poor behaviors. And you were measuring loans against credit card applications with the same metric, the same dollar metric. Well, actually, a credit card might only be $10,000, a loan might be $100,000.

Paul (00:12:40) - They're two different things. And in the world of sausages, you measure your performance based on the standard associated with that product. So you don't measure a high volume sausage against ten packs a minute if you can make 100 packs a minute, but your premium products that you have to make slower and more carefully, you measure them against that ten packs a minute standard. So have a think about the standards that you're using and how that can impact the performance that you're trying to drive and the results. But most of all, the behaviors. Think about the behaviors that your metrics are driving in your organization and what you can do to change that in a positive way for you, your customers, and your people.

Josh (00:13:23) - You are a speaker, Paul. What types of organizations do you speak for and what would be? Maybe some of the kind of topics that you would be well-suited for?

Paul (00:13:34) - Yeah, well, I speak at events around high performance. I speak in organizations where they're looking for people with operational excellence and high performance experience that's going to inspire their people.

Paul (00:13:46) - So a different edge. I talk about how sausages change banking, and I expand on that with how sausages change banking and how ballerinas change pit stops and stories like that that give people a different angle what they may be thinking so that they can reframe their thinking. And that's another aspect that I like to do with people, get them to reframe what they're doing and how can they look externally to the people who are doing this stuff really well?

Josh (00:14:14) - Uh, Paul, your website is Paul Teasdale. Co.Uk. Do our friend listen to our conversation? Just click around in your podcast app, find the show notes, follow along real quick here. Pull up Paul's website. Paul, when somebody goes to your website, what would you recommend their next steps like how can they. They've been listening to our conversation. Obviously they like you. You're a likable guy. And where do they go from here? What do they do, particularly in light of, you know, resources on your website?

Paul (00:14:41) - Yeah, the first thing that you'll see up there and there's a pop up that comes up as well if if you pop ups are enabled, book a 30 minute slot with me.

Paul (00:14:49) - It's a I love to have those connections with people. I love to hear about your performance challenges and opportunities and if and how I can help you and your organization with some of the stories that I've got no obligation more than happy just to talk through what you're doing right now. So that's the first port of call. Book a 30 minute slot with me. Connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm quite active there. And listen out for me. And, you know, more than happy to to talk about what this means to you and your teams and how we can make it work.

Josh (00:15:18) - Now. Paul Teasdale again, speaker and facilitator and great insights on many a topic. I particularly loved your stories on F1. So again, your website, Paul Teasdale. Co.Uk Paul, thank you so much for joining us.

Paul (00:15:35) - Thanks so much Josh. Pleasure.

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