Inclusive Growth Show

Values to Virtues and the Human Equity Advantage

March 21, 2023 Toby Mildon Episode 94
Inclusive Growth Show
Values to Virtues and the Human Equity Advantage
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Toby has an epic conversation with Peter Wilson an internationally established thought leader, author, speaker and CEO in the field of diversity and inclusion.

You can boost company productivity, avoid PR disasters, and build a thriving workplace that attracts the best talent by watching our webinar!

Speaker 3: Welcome to the Inclusive Growth Show with Toby Mildon, future proofing your business by creating a diverse workplace.

Toby Mildon: Hey there. Thank you very much for tuning into this episode of The Inclusive Podcast. I'm Toby Milton, and I always say this whenever I open podcasts about how excited I am to be meeting today's guests, but I am genuinely excited to be connecting with today's guests because when I first got involved in diversity and inclusion, I read today's guest's book and it was incredibly informative in my approach to my work in diversity and inclusion and I must admit, I've got a bit of a man crush on today's guest [laughter] It is great to be welcoming Peter Trevor Wilson. Now, Peter is an accomplished author, speaker, and thought leader in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He's the founder and chief Executive of Human Equity Incorporated, which is a consultancy firm specializing in helping organisations develop and implement effective diversity and inclusion strategies. Peter is also the author of the highly acclaimed book that I mentioned.

Toby Mildon: Which is called, The Human Equity Advantage, Beyond Diversity to Talent Optimization, which presents a unique approach to building more equitable and inclusive workplaces. Over the course of his career, Peter's worked with a wide range of clients across multiple industries, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and not-for-profit organisations. He's also known for his ability to translate complex diversity and inclusion concepts into actionable strategies that drive real business results. As a speaker, Peter is a really engaging and insightful and passionate about his work. He's delivered keynote addresses and presentations at numerous conferences and events. And his TEDx talk on the power of human equity has been viewed by thousands of people around the world. Overall, Peter is a leading voice in diversity, equity, and inclusion space. And his work has helped countless organisations build more equitable and inclusive workplaces that foster innovation, growth, and success. Peter, welcome along. It's lovely to see you.

Peter Wilson: Thank you, thank you, Toby. Nice to see you and by the way, I am on the market, so if the [0:02:37.2] ____.


Toby Mildon: That's good to know.

Peter Wilson: I'm between marriages, so.

Toby Mildon: Like I say, it's such a privilege to be sitting down with you today because your book was so instrumental when I first started out on my diversity and inclusion career when I was working at the BBC at the time, it really did reframe diversity and inclusion for me and help make it a lot more kind of accessible. You and Vernā Myers and her book Vernā's over at Netflix now, but were both instrumental in my kind of thinking.

Peter Wilson: Thank you for that, by the way Toby, let me just say sorry to interrupt, but...

Toby Mildon: That's alright.

Peter Wilson: When you write a book you don't know if anybody reads it. Well, your mom's gonna read it. My mom read it, but other than that, I have no idea, I very much appreciate that, the kind words. Thank you.

Toby Mildon: You're really welcome. I mean, your book split into three parts. I thought we could just kind of test take one part at a time. Part one is called Beyond Diversity to Human Equity, the Required Shift. And one of the things that you talk about is your first chapter actually is talking about diversity fatigue and the unfulfilled promise of diversity. And I want to start there because it's something that really resonates with me because I've had loads of conversations with business leaders where I think there is that diversity fatigue, I've seen the eyes roll when I start to talk about diversity. Can you just share with us a bit more about your kind of thinking behind this? 

Peter Wilson: Let me... I apologize upfront. I tell stories. Okay. And sometimes the stories actually have something to do with the question so I'll try. This was years ago, Toby, I wanna say at least in the '90s, LGBT issues were just starting to heat up. And it was inevitable that if you had a program under employment equity, which in Canada only usually covered four groups, women, visible minorities or people of colour, people with disabilities and indigenous people. We used to call them Aboriginal people in those days. But LGBT issues were rising up. So this CEO of a major, major corporation global was somewhat perturbed. I mean, he was fine with it. He says, we're gonna update the diversity program, we're gonna add LGBT. And he goes, yeah, okay. He says, Hey, why don't we do this? Why don't we take the next three groups? Okay? 

Peter Wilson: Because like, there'll be another group right after this, people with big toes or single fathers or whatever. Let's look, I don't wanna waste more time on this. Let's just take the three groups. We'll do LGBT, but we'll take the other three and then we don't have to come back here for two years. And I was like, well, we could do that, but it actually doesn't work that way. That's a really weird question 'cause this guy was committed, like he was one of the most committed CEOs I had ever seen. And I was like, wow, like he seems like he's kind of tired of it. And sure enough, I started to see it. And now you're talking about today, Toby, I'm talking about maybe 19 before the first book I ever wrote, which was '94,'95.

Peter Wilson: That's a long time ago. And the fatigue continues to there. And it wasn't until I met Dr. Janice Smith that I understood, you can't get there from here. You can't, don't go down the group road and get to what we eventually called human equity. That will be in section two of the book. But go ahead, [laughter] Does that answer, does that help? 

Toby Mildon: It does, absolutely. Yeah. The other thing that you talked about was the evolution of the equity continuum. This was something that actually really stood out for me because I remember you've got this model in your book where you've got organisations who are unaware, then they focus on diversity. And then they focus on inclusion. But where we really want to get organisations to is focusing on human equity. And I use a kind of similar continuing in the work that I do, whereas I kind of get clients to think about inclusive growth and how a more diverse or representative and inclusive culture can help you grow as a business. So you're not treating it as a bit like a box ticking exercise. That it's really embedded in the business strategy. Could you just explain a bit more about your kind of thinking behind that continuum and I suppose how organisations go on that journey? 

Peter Wilson: It's simple. It is simple stuff. It's not necessarily easy to do, but it's very, very simple. And you can rate organisations on the scale of zero to five, as you say. Organisations that are zero already think that they're fives. So they're gonna say, well, we don't have to talk to you because we've already arrived. We're United Nations. Everybody loves each other here. Kumbaya lunchtime, so we don't do a lot of business with zeros. The ones are doing it because in your country it would be called equal opportunity. In my country it's called employment Equity, in the States it's called Affirmative Action. There's a law. And in the first book I ever wrote, I called it legislated equity. In the second book, I called it legislated and litigated equity. Because companies, you may remember the Texaco case study, the Texaco class action suit, Coca-Cola Class Action, Multi-billion Dollar Class Action Suits, very, very big required to do lots of stuff.

Peter Wilson: So companies do it because they're forced to do it. The two's, I think Toby moved a little bit beyond that. They do it because of corporate social responsibility. They do it because it's the right thing to do. And I have nothing against that. The problem is when things like COVID hits or things like a recession hits, that's the stuff that's gonna go away first because it's kind of a nice to have. The first book I ever wrote a hundred years ago was the subtitle of the book was really the book it was called Diversity at Work. But the subtitle was The Business Case for Equity. The Business Case, if you could link it to a business outcome, if you could link it to profit, if you could link it to productivity, if you could link it to best talent, if you could link it to improved customer satisfaction, then it's more likely to stick around than you doing it because you really like those people in wheelchairs. Right? 

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: So do it because of a business. And that was to get to a level three [laughter] And then my world changed Toby. I met Dr. Janice Smith. Now Janice Smith is still alive. She's a legend. We know her in my country as the first, if not the first, one of the first female deputy ministers in the history of our country, similar to England. You guys have deputy, I don't know if you call it, did you have a CES Minister. Do you remember CES minister? 

Toby Mildon: Yeah. Yeah.

Peter Wilson: So there was the minister, but then there was this guy, I can't remember his name, but he was the, Anyways, the head dude. The head dude in charge. And we call them deputy ministers, they make a lot of money. They're really, really powerful. They're not politicians.

Peter Wilson: They serve the minister. Okay. So she was the first female as far as we know, and she retired in about 1998. And they said, "Hey Janet, you want a little project before you retire?" She goes, sure. "We want you to look at the state of diversity in the federal government. Just do a little report on it." She goes, "what do you need to look at it for? You can walk through this place and see diversity, diversity all over the place. Just walk through the cafeteria, you'll see diversity." She goes, "You don't have a problem with diversity, you have a problem with inclusion." And they go, what? And this is the first time Toby I ever heard the word inclusion. And she goes yeah, people are not being included. And then she said, "I won't do that, but if you change the name of your task force, I'll do it."

Peter Wilson: And they changed the name to a task force on an inclusive public sector. It's kind of hard to find even on the internet because it was the early days. So if you can't find it, let me know and I'll send you a secret [laughter], a secret copy. It's a paper copy, so it's just be... But she changed my life Toby, in the first paragraph, she goes, in an inclusive environment, each person is valued because of their difference. Now, before I met her, I started with a thing called employment equity. It was four groups and then we became five. I wrote a book on diversity. I added 10 groups. So there were 15 groups. I added gay men, I added pregnant women, I added people with all of this stuff. And then that would've been 15 groups. And then she's talking about 7.25 billion groups.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: And I'm like, she's crazy. So who is the group Toby? So she'd say, "I think he is in a wheelchair, I think he lives in England, Mildon or something, I think he has a company in the area of diversity, I think he does a podcast. That's all I know about him okay, go on LinkedIn." So we go on LinkedIn and you got a really impressive LinkedIn and I can read all about you and stuff, but Janet would say but that's really not Toby, that's one, one thousands of Toby, to really know Toby, you have to actually talk to Toby and you have to talk to his mom and dad and you have to talk to him about, and you can't talk to him just about his disability I said to you, my mom lost her sight when she was 40 and she used to always say to people, "Hey guys, stop saying I have a disability." She goes, "I don't have a disability, I just can't see." Look, I know that you have figured out crap that most people have never figured out and I'm just talking about walking on the sidewalk.


Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: So yeah. So what I'm saying is she moved it to 7.25 billion groups, and my world became so much more complicated in terms... Not complicated. So much more interesting than the diversity world, which was how many people in wheelchairs do you actually have? How many brown people do you have? How many gay lesbians do you have? That's what I did for many, many years. And she's talking about, no, no, how do you maximize, you got 300 people in your company, how do you maximize on the talent of all 300 people? And then she would say, but you can't do it just for women. You can't do that just for people of colour. You can't do that just for Toby and people in wheelchairs, you gotta do it for all 300 people.

Toby Mildon: Absolutely.

Peter Wilson: That was what in high school we used to call a mind fuck.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. And that was the main thing that I took away from your book. It was about the individual and when you were talking there, you were... I was just remembering a client of mine, they're huge global business. I think they employ around about 30,000 people and I said to the head of diversity in a workshop I was doing with him, "Why do you get up in the morning and do the work that you do?" And he said, "I will give you 30,000 reasons why I get up in the morning and do the work that I do." And that was probably the best answer I've ever heard from a head of diversity and inclusion.

Peter Wilson: Listen, first of all, give that guy a copy of my book. He would understand that. But the most, in my opinion, and I'm biased, I live in a world where I'm dealing with so-called champions of diversity. Vice presidents of diversity, managers, didn't exist 20 years ago, but it exists today. Now most of them are either minorities or women, but they all are the same kind of, and I'm not very popular with them to tell the truth because I would say the same thing as that gentleman. Look, I'm dealing with everybody including white men. And they go, oh, well why do you include white men in that? I said, well, why wouldn't I? Well, white men have already had their chance. I would say, look, you had your chance and now it's my chance.

Peter Wilson: That's what they did in Rwanda with the Hutu and the Tutsi and you'll notice it doesn't work and it won't work in your company, or the white guys had their chance, so now we're gonna give it to the ones that didn't have their chance. It won't work. You have to create systems that are fair and equitable for everybody that works there. All 30,000 people, including the straight, we call them SWAMs, the straight white, able-bodied males.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: Some people don't like that. I mean, Toby, when I started business, my hair was Black, my hair was all Black, I had a beard it was all Black and I have fought that so many times include white men, include straight, white, able bodied males and most diversity people, diversity subject matter experts would disagree with me.

Toby Mildon: No, I absolutely agree with you. And I think it's really important because, if we look at power and privilege, it's that the people that are holding power and the people that have the privilege. We have to get them onsite.

Peter Wilson: Yes.

Toby Mildon: And they have to be part of creating a fair and equitable society and culture within the organisation. So it's really important that we engage them.

Peter Wilson: Agreed. And I would suggest to you Toby, that just like, I don't want you to stereotype people, Black people or Hawaiian people or people sitting in wheelchairs, I don't want to stereotype White men as well. I mean, some of my best friends are straight, White, able-bodied males. Now some of them are incredible advocates of this stuff, a lot of them because of they're married or they have girls as children and if you have a girl, there's a thing, the CEO of IBM used to call it the Sunshine Law. And he would talk about, let's say sexual harassment or gender harassment. And he said, how many of you have daughters? And he says, what? I'm gonna tell you some stories that went on. I want you to say, if this happened to my daughter. See it from... And he goes, all of a sudden they get it. Have you seen that movie, Bombshell? 

Toby Mildon: No, I haven't, no.

Peter Wilson: Okay. I think it's an old movie, like three years old. It's about the sexual harassment that happened at Fox News with a guy named Roger, I can't remember his name, and he sexually harassed young, beautiful women for years and years and years. He interviewed them by if they... He would have them twirl in his office so he could see their legs. Anyways, Bombshell is about that entire story. And it's fascinating to say this happened in our lifetime, this happened less than 10 years ago, right? 

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: And then if you say to a CEO, a straight, White, able-bodied male, what if this happened to your daughter? I'm gonna show you this movie. What if this happened to your daughter? You will see they get it. They get it because they get it through the daughter and then some people will get it because they've had a kid with a disability. So I, as you may know, have a seasonal disorder, SAD we call it. I've had it for 35 years, okay? Every Christmas and every summer I go into my bedroom and I spend 30 days in bed, 16 hours a... I mean, I go through what's called depression.

Toby Mildon: Yup.

Peter Wilson: It happens every year, it's happened for 30 years. So there might be that increases my family sensitivity sometimes to that, and so they might include that in their diversity program. With COVID, COVID has been... Lots of us have faced death in COVID. I spent three years taking care of an uncle who wasn't that old, I mean he wasn't even in his 80s, but he was very sick. He had diabetes, he had heart, he had lungs, he had... When I moved in with this guy, he was still quite mobile, but then he had a stroke.

Peter Wilson: And after he had his stroke, Toby, he was different. And he was a big guy, 250 pounds, and I learned about what is it like to take care of an adult. Well, I took care of him for three years. He went in and out of the hospital maybe 10 times over the three years, every time he came back, he was different. Every time he came back, my job as a caregiver was different. And when I had to buy his food, I had to read all of the ingredients because if it's too much sugar, if it's too much salt, if it's too much oil, he can't have it, so my sensitivity around that type of stuff. So anyways, all I'm suggesting to you is that's the level two organisation. And the level threes have... They still do that, but then they add the business outcome, and then the level fours have really made this split from the group conversation to the individual.

Peter Wilson: And they're looking at the long-term sustainable benefit of maximising all of your people. And then human equity, the level five, which a lot of people say, " Well, when you created the continuum, you never expected people to be level five." And I said, "Yeah, but I still had to put it down." It's like Martin Luther King when he said, "There'll be a day when our kids will not be judged based on their skin colour or their gender or their religion or their sexual orientation. They'll be judged by the content of their character." Now, it was a dream, Toby, it was a dream. The guy just said it off the top... No, he didn't say it off the top of his head, but it was a dream.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: My level five, my level... My human equity, maximise the talent of everybody in your organisation is a dream. But if I don't put that dream of... Oh, they say if you don't... If you're aiming for the sun, you gotta aim for the moon or something like that.


Peter Wilson: You gotta go high. Dr. Maya has a great line where he's like... People say, "Oh, your level five is impossible." And Dr. Maya would say to that, the difficult takes a long time, the impossible just a little bit longer.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. And that you have to aim big. It was... I've been running my business now for a few years and I'm working with a business coach, and he was asking me what my business is gonna look like in 10 years time.

Peter Wilson: Right.

Toby Mildon: And I was like, "Well, if I doubled my revenue, if I... " I did a simple, back of a... On the back of a beer mat kind of calculation...


Toby Mildon: I was like, "If I doubled my revenue in 10 years time, I would be close to being a billion-pound revenue business." I was like, "There's no way on earth that's gonna happen." But what was really interesting, was it completely...

Peter Wilson: Hey man, you've got a good business if you're talking... Oh my God, I underestimated you. You got some...

Toby Mildon: I shouldn't have put that out there.


Toby Mildon: Everyone's gonna try and set up a diversity and inclusion consultancy now.

Peter Wilson: Exactly.

Toby Mildon: But I was like... What was really interesting about that experiment though, was that it radically shifted my thinking because I was like, "Okay, in order to be a billion-pound business, I'm not gonna be doing what I'm doing today."


Peter Wilson: Absolutely.

Toby Mildon: I'm gonna have to be doing things very differently. And I think that's a bit like your continuum. If you're aiming for the stars, to be level five and you're focusing on that human equity, then that means that as an organisation, you're going to have to shift your mindset and you're gonna have to do things differently, which I think is a perfect segue for us into the second part of your book, which is really about implementing human equity. What is the shape of talent that you talk about in your book? 

Peter Wilson: So it really is the engine, I think it's chapter five or chapter six, SHAPEV is what it's called. It comes out of a very old... Well not very old, it's an older book called A Purpose Driven Life. I wouldn't call it religious, but I would call it spiritual. It really quite changed my life when I was... My spiritual search started when I was in my 20s and then somehow I got a copy of that book and I read it.

Peter Wilson: SHAPEV came out of that. He talks about shape. His name is Rick Warren. He talks about the shape of talent or human beings. And for him the S stands for spirituality. I can't remember. The H I think stands for heart. The A stands for, I can't remember. P I think stands for personality and E stands for something else. Okay. Now, so I'd used Shape but I added a V and then I changed the acronym. I said an S will stand for strengths. So we're all born with strengths. Have you ever seen StrengthsFinder, Marcus Buckingham and StrengthsFinder.

Toby Mildon: Okay. It's a brilliant tool. Yeah.

Peter Wilson: A brilliant tool. So you find out your strengths and now I have a strength called connectedness. I didn't even know what it was until I did my StrengthsFinder and I'm like, oh, I have that. Yeah, I have that. I don't know where it came from, but yes, I do have that strength. H stands for heart or passion, what you love, there's a guy named Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, great psychologist, one of the fathers or parents of positive psychology. And you may know that my work is based in positive psychology. Csikszentmihalyi talks about a thing called flow and Flow where you go into a state, you so love what you're doing. Let's say you're a motorcycle guy and you just so love fixing your motorcycle or playing with your motorcycle. And all of a sudden, five hours goes by and your girlfriend or wife or boyfriend says, what the hell are you doing out there, Toby? Come on in here.

Peter Wilson: That's called Flow and what Csikszentmihalyi will tell you is if you so love a thing that you would do it, even if nobody paid you to do it and time seems to pass that's probably what's called a Canadian guy calls your unique ability. And if I know what your unique ability is and you have passion for something I don't care where you went to school. I don't care if you went to Oxford or Harvard or whatever, because I know that what your real quote-unquote "gift" is, is fixing motorcycles. A is attitude Toby and over the 40 years, we have figured out there's three attitudes people have when they are in the world of work. They could be they really just want a job, they want a job with good benefits and good salary and blah, blah, blah. Great. Most people are like that. Then there's some people they have the attitude, I want to build a career, so I'm gonna come to like this Ernst & Young and I'm gonna build my career because I want to move up in accounting, or whatever it is. And then Toby, there are people that have a calling.

Peter Wilson: They have a calling it's like, I always wanted to be a teacher. I had a wife like this actually, my first wife always knew she wanted to be a teacher. I say, "how the hell at 17 could you know you want... " "oh, I know. I just want to be a teacher. I just want." and I'm like, "okay, well try but you're gonna change your mind." She never changed her mind to this day. Toby, she was a teacher, she was a great teacher. And they asked her, do you wanna become a vice-principal? She goes, Nope. I just wanna be a teacher and they wanna make her a this and a that. She's now retired and she still goes and does teaching.


Peter Wilson: She was born a teacher, that's her gift and so that is where you get into the attitude. If I know that you have a calling for something, I pay to and then personality, there are Toby, 25,000 personality tests. Most people think Myers-Briggs is the good one. Okay, I'm biased. I declare my bias. I don't think there's much science in Myers-Briggs I like it. It's a lot of fun nice to have at a party. But the real one in my opinion is Kolbe, Kathy Kolbe and Kathy Kolbe for those who want to check out, Kathy Kolbe's test which have been around I knew about them 30 years ago, will tell you exactly how much a mis-hire will cost you. So in the old days, we used to say well, if you raw hire the wrong person. It's gonna be about two times the salary. That's how much it's gonna cost you. Today post-COVID with shortages in talent if you hire the wrong person, it's 3.5 times the salary. So you don't wanna do it, so the third, E is life experience. Okay, not E is for experience but not experience. Hey, tell me what your career path is. It's like so you know and I know, you know what it's like to be the only person in the room sitting in a wheelchair.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: You know that, you've had any tell me have you not had that experience? 

Toby Mildon: I would say I'm the only person in the room who knows what it's like for me to be in a wheelchair because every wheelchair user will be different.

Peter Wilson: Oh, yes.

Toby Mildon: And it's funny you should say that, actually I was I do quite a lot of writing for LinkedIn and they asked me to write a post about LGBT history and I've been preparing something saying that my unique perspective on it is looking at the intersectionality between being an openly gay disabled man and having to face both disability discrimination and feeling a lot of shame around my sexuality as part of my coming out journey but that's a very unique story to me and...

Toby Mildon: And I really like the E in your SHAPE model because, it is about those lived experiences and, we've done podcast recordings with other people where I suppose we found that empathy is one of those crucial skills of an inclusive leader. And one way of building up empathy is by getting to understand people's different lived experiences within the workplace.

Peter Wilson: That's why I'm a big fan of what they the diversity folks sometimes call reverse mentoring, where it's like okay I've never met a gay person in a wheelchair before, so okay, I'm gonna... You Toby wants to become a manager here you are vice president, you can help him on that, he's gonna teach you about what it's like to be a gay man in a wheelchair, right? Now, look, in the book, I talk about epiphany moments and one of my epiphany moments in this area was Obama. I declare my bias, he's a hero to me I think he's one of the best presidents the United States ever had, I don't think that they'll start talking about that for another 50 years long after he is dead but I admire Barack Obama.

Toby Mildon: He's my other man crush by the [0:34:33.4] ____...


Peter Wilson: Big man crush, big man crush, okay? Now, before he was president and this and if you want this, I can or anybody watching, this, it's called the Speech on Race, you can get it online. Obama's speech on race. You remember when he was running, they were wondering, are you really American? Donald Trump was saying, I don't even think he has a birth certificate and all this stuff, right? And it got pretty hot. And at one point they were asked, what did he think about how his minister, his reverend had said, he had said some pretty negative things. And so Obama put this speech on race and I remember Toby, I was at Disney World and my kids were getting ready and we were gonna go to Disney World. So I was like, okay, Kate let's go.

Peter Wilson: I had never heard of this guy, Obama, I had never heard. I heard there's a Black guy running for president. I wasn't impressed. Black people have run for president before, I flew to America when Jesse Jackson ran for president, worked on the campaign. So I was like, okay, so a Black guy's running for president. Big, big whoop. And so, he starts like a regular politician and then he goes, Hey, listen if you think that what you're looking at over here is a Black guy around 40 who is married with two kids that was educated at Harvard, born in Hawaii and has a funny Muslim name, and he lays out all these things. He goes if that's who you think I am, you're kind of missing it. You're kind of missing it because I'm a little bit more than that and Toby, he says something that changed my life. He goes, all of those things could inform who I am, but none of them can define me. Jesus Christ, I was like, oh my God.


Peter Wilson: Oh my God, what wisdom and that was like, it's like, look people say to me, oh, well Trevor, you're kind of old to be CEO of that company, okay. And by the way, you're Black and they're still not quite ready with your... It will come. They did it with women, you'll be ready and we can do it, but not really quite. And it's like, so I don't really think it's your time. So Toby you're a smart dude. You're making half a billion dollars a year, we'd love to hire you. We just don't have a washroom where your wheelchair can fit, right? Or in the old days, we used to say, well, he's Black so he probably can dance, I gotta tell you, if you wanna laugh, talk to my kids about dad dancing.

Peter Wilson: Oh, it's an embarrassment, it's an embarrassment. I don't dance. Well, he likes fried chicken. Now that is true actually, I like fried chicken but for you to say you're Black, therefore you can't be CEO or you can't be president of the United States, maybe, maybe not and that's all Obama was saying.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. So what's the V then in SHAPE? 

Peter Wilson: It's virtue, you won't know this guy, but he's in your, I think he's in your country. Trent Henry is his name, he used to be the CEO of Ernst & Young Canada, I think he's vice chair of Ernst & Young globally. He's a big deal. I mean, there's nobody bigger than Trent Henry. So, well there is somebody bigger but like... Anyways, so Trent Henry, when he became CEO of Ernst & Young Canada, he's like a little guy. I mean, when I say, I mean, I'm a little guy and he is about the same height as me, 5'7. He, with respect, has a little bit of a speech impediment. Not much. And, he is so you used the word humble. He does not look like a CEO. Okay. So I remember the guy that recruited Trent Henry 1000 years ago. I said, how the heck. How the heck does Trent Henry become CEO of Canada? And he laughs. He says, "Go ask him."

Peter Wilson: So I set up a meeting with Trent and whatever. And Trent goes, "Well, if they were hiring today, they would never hire me." I said, "What do you mean?" He says, "This firm Ernst & Young would never hire me." I said, "Why?" He goes, "I come from the University of Prince Edward Island. Now Toby in my country, people don't even know where the province of Prince Edward Island is. It's a dink, small, small, just small bike, geography, province on the eastern side of our country." I didn't even know there was a university. He went to that university, and I guess he did okay. He graduated. Yeah, I think he played hockey. And anyway, long story short, the recruiter said, "If you're willing to leave Prince Edward Island and go to Calgary and do this really impossible assignment you might have a future here." And he says, "Sure." And he did it. He did the work, miracle work. And then he was finished and they go, "Wow, that's really good. Would you move to New York and do the same thing?" He goes, "Sure."

Peter Wilson: And he goes, and he does that again. And that, now I'm not advocating for that because I don't think at the time he was married and had kids and whatever, but the truth is he was willing to do it and then he did it, and he never took credit for it. Even when he was talking, never took credit for it. And it's so weird talking to a humble person because they never talk about themselves. It's strange. They're giving this person credit, this person credit. And they said, but no, what did you do? What did you do? And he won't say it. Anyways, so I go back to the guy that recruited him and I said, "What did you think?" I said, "Well, he told me the story, et cetera, but what I really think is it was his humility." And he goes, "Yeah, you're right." He said, "Most of us in our profession are know-it-alls."

Peter Wilson: We have to be, we're Ernst & Young. We're almost like McKinsey. You pay them to know it all.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: He says Trent is a I don't know it all. And he'll come in and he knows that that client has already gone on Google. That client already knows about whatever the problem is and has thought about it every night. And so he's coming in to listen to the client and say, "Let's figure it out together."

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: "Because I don't know. You don't know. We'll figure it out together." That's why Trent Henry became CEO of Ernst & Young Canada and is now Vice chair Ernst & Young. And he will never tell you that Toby. He will never tell you that. Why? Because he is humble.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: That would be my two, so V is for virtues, virtues like humility. Now as you know, this, you can do for free if you go up to, okay. Or just put in VIA character in Google, you will come to a free test. It'll take you 20 minutes and you'll do the test. You'll get your top five virtues. Now, a value in action is a virtue. A value, if I go into a company and I see respect over here and teamwork over here and all that other BS, that's the corporate value. Now, somebody that's respecting people, that's the virtue.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: A value in action is a virtue. So the V is for virtues, there's 23 virtues you will get out of the VIA and your top five are hardwired, Toby. You were born with them, you will never lose them. And once I know somebody's virtues, their V, I don't care where they went to school. I don't care what career path they took in because I know that that guy's number one virtue is humility.

Toby Mildon: I've just Googled it and I'm gonna do it after we've recorded this conversation. And in fact, you should probably give Trent a phone call because it looks like he's moved back to Toronto.

Peter Wilson: Okay.

Toby Mildon: Near where you are.

Peter Wilson: Okay, thank you.

Toby Mildon: And he is the global vice chair of talent for EY. We've had somebody from EY on this podcast, interestingly, and on his company profile, he describes himself as a hockey dad and coach. So.

Peter Wilson: Now, Toby, that's how I know Trent, his son and my son played hockey.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: I'd be in the hockey, really cold hockey, arenas are very cold and you just see the moms and the dads and you just commit [0:44:57.5] ____. And that's how I came to know Trent. And then I never actually thought he was anything special. He just like the... He's just a regular guy wearing a hockey jacket. When I found out that's the CEO of Ernst & Young Canada, I didn't believe them, I said that guy can't be a CEO. Are you crazy? Listen how quiet he is. Like CEO, pound your chest and sacrifice virgins and all of that kind of stuff. Anyways, I love Trent. Look, I declare my bias.

Peter Wilson: Ernst & Young is our oldest client, Toby, Ernst & Young, we started with them in mid 90s and then, they became our biggest client. We started work, we did some work with Ernst & Young. Americas, which is all of Ernst & Young. We probably saw all of their PPDs, which is partners, principals, directors, and now we have a strategic alliance with them. They white label some of our stuff and they sell it to their clients and it works, it works.

Toby Mildon: Oh.

Peter Wilson: Because I don't want to do this forever. As you can see.

Speaker 4: If your company has a great diversity and inclusion strategy, if your organisation has an amazing work culture where productivity is peaking, if the best talent in your industry are working for you, if all your employees are happy and feel included, then feel free to skip this message for about 30 seconds and continue listening to the podcast interview with Toby. But if you feel that your company is lacking in any one of these areas, your employer reputation is taken a hit. Toby Mildon is one of the UK's leading diversity and inclusion experts who has helped top companies like Deloitte, the BBC, Sony Pictures, and Centrica, as well as numerous scale of businesses who want an outstanding inclusive culture. To go further in your diversity and inclusion journey, log on to Toby's webinar at to accelerate your company's diversity and inclusion strategy in 40 minutes. Thanks for listening. And now back to the podcast interview with Toby.

Toby Mildon: The other thing that you talk about when implementing human equity is the eight core competencies of an equitable leader. Now, I'm gonna encourage the person listening to us right now to go and get your book in order for them to read the eight competencies, but I know you've got another trick up your sleeve.

Peter Wilson: Yeah, they can do that. But first of all, the competencies are nine competencies now. If they were to just Google ELA, Equitable Leader Assessment or Google, Dr. Julie Carswell, who is a brilliant, I mean, she's a genius. I first met her in the '90s. Anything I talk about, Julie originally kind of created the research behind. Okay. And we lost her for a while. She went away for a while, and then now she came back. She came back probably about five years ago, and I remember she said, look, I'm doing this work. It's great. She's vice president of this company. And she goes, but I'm really bored. And, you know, the stuff we were doing back in the '90s, I want to do more of that. And so she is the expert on the ELA or the Equitable Leader assessment. There is also a one pager that Julie created. It's more, it's kind of a marketing thing, but it was created when they went from eight competencies to nine. And it's very, very helpful. It's a one pager. If people want that I can get that to... We can get that to them as well. But the book, you know, the book was written in 2014 and all of our tools have continued to evolve. And yes, it moved from eight competencies to nine, but it's still the same tool, but yes.

Toby Mildon: What's your favorite out of the nine? 

Peter Wilson: Oh, God. What a great question. Okay. I don't know if it's my favorite, but I love ethics and integrity. Because of how it was created. Now, Julie tells this story a lot better than me. She had come and started with seven competencies, and she thought, oh, okay, good. We'll build the tool, we'll build the database, blah, blah, blah. And then she's sitting down one day and do you remember Enron? 

Toby Mildon: Yes.

Peter Wilson: She's watching the CEO of Enron and he's talking to the new employees about the ethics and integrity of Enron. Now, Toby, you're a man of words. The dude did not have any notes. He's just talking, and he talked for a half an hour about the ethics and integrity of Enron. And Julie said it was probably the best presentation she had ever seen on ethics and integrity. So she was kind of perturbed when a month later, the same guy stole $20 billion from the employee pension fund or something like that. And she goes, I think we missed a competency. And she added ethics and integrity.

Toby Mildon: Wow.

Peter Wilson: So I love, yeah. I love it. Yeah.

Toby Mildon: Cool. So now just moving on to the final part of your book, part three, which is around measuring human equity. I really like this part because I think I talk to a lot of clients who they want to, they want evidence for building a more inclusive workplace. I mean, I love working with clients who are like, yeah, it's the right thing to do, 'cause it is. And you have to be congruent with your values. It's really funny. I went to go and do a training course once with a company, well-known company, in fact, and I went into reception and they had a list of their values stuck behind the reception desk. Inclusion was number one on the list.

Peter Wilson: Wow.

Toby Mildon: Then I went to go and deliver the training course, and everybody in this training course was grumpy and miserable and pissed off. And I was like, what the hell is going on here? And they were like, oh, this diversity and inclusion is a load of bullshit because like our senior leadership team, just don't give a crap about it. They're not walking the talk. And there was just this incongruence between What they stated on the wall, behind the reception desk, and what was actually happening in the business, the behaviours moment to moment. So one of the things I talk to my clients about is how are we actually going to measure the culture of your organisation? How do we assess the behaviours of your leaders and your managers? How do we know that any intervention that we design to create a better culture is actually going to have the desired impact? So what are your just, I suppose in closing our conversation today, what are your thoughts around measuring human equity? 

Peter Wilson: So one of the chapters has... Is really a, I mean it's just a concept called the equity index. And you would remember, again, like a thousand years ago, HR decided to move to what was called a balanced scorecard to determine how well, and all I was saying is don't just use one metric. And so the human the equity index is very similar. We say, okay, well, most people wanna use the representation metric, and that's fine, but that's not the full story. Like if you're doing employee engagement, that is as important through a diversity lens, which means is the engagement more for men than women? Is it more for gays than straights? Is it more for baby boomers than millennials? Right. Looking at a, that might be more, a better metric than the representation metric. And it's very important, Toby, people leave, well, I've said this for 30 years.

Peter Wilson: People think I'm saying representation doesn't matter. I am not saying that. I am saying that there are other metrics as if not more important than representation. One of them would be employee engagement under a diversity lens. But the other metric we just talked about, leadership behaviour. You know this, you go into companies and you go all around, you will never in any of those companies see a room with a name plate that says culture never, and you open the door and there's a dude sitting there or a woman sitting there, that doesn't exist. The culture is the day-to-day behaviour, primarily what we call opinion leaders in an organisation. So definitely the CEO and her the whole group, yes. But others, the guy that runs the union, he's also going to be a... And the woman that runs the outreach department, she could be a key opinion leader.

Peter Wilson: Right. So the way that key opinion leaders treat people. Okay. Their virtues. When I'm hiring people, I say to... I look at their CV for two minutes and throw it down, and then I do a reference check on them. And so I might do a reference check on you and say, I'm doing a reference check on Toby. And sometimes I get, when it's a junior organisation, they'll say, "Well, this person's only like a supervisor, and are you the CEO of your company?" I go, "Yeah." He said, "You shouldn't be doing this call. Like the HR person should be doing the call." I said, "No, no I'm kind of looking for something." And they'll go, "Well, what? What are you looking for?" Now, I have studied the great talent leaders of all time, including a guy named Jack Welsh who used to run, and Welsh would ask questions. He would say like, well, I'm looking for something. Go, "oh, okay. What are you looking for?" He goes, "I can't tell you." And I go, "what do you mean you can't tell you?" He goes, "I mean, I can't put it into words. I know it when I see it."

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: I know it when... Tell me how Toby treats the cafeteria stuff. Tell me how, what Toby does with a guy. Oh, Toby, there's a picture of our hero Obama [laughter], when he visits your country for the first time, it's a famous picture. He's walking into, is it Downing Street? Where does the, where the PM lives.

Toby Mildon: Downing Street, where the prime minister lives. Yeah.

Peter Wilson: He's walking into Downing Street. There's a Black Bobby or police officer for the, so Obama's walking like this straight to the door, and then he sticks out his hand to shake hands with a Black Bobby, and the guy catches the picture. The Bobby is like, what the... WTF, like.


Peter Wilson: This is the president of the United States.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: I should not exist. You see what I mean? Like...

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: Yes. He could have done a speech on diversity. There's a old, old quote, I think it's 1800 and something, 1815, Ralph Waldo Emerson. What he said is, "what you do speaks so loudly. I can't hear what you're saying."

Toby Mildon: Brilliant.

Peter Wilson: Yes. Obama could do a speech on diversity, but if he treats the Bobby like shit, there would be an inconsistency.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: So all Julie figured out is how do you measure now? Okay. I apologize upfront, I didn't create the name of this book. This is the name of the book. It's called The No Asshole Rule. It was written, I don't know, 20 years ago by a guy named Sutton. I think he's a Ivy guy. He's a smart guy and they said...

Toby Mildon: My cousin loves that book.


Peter Wilson: Is that right? 


Toby Mildon: Yeah. She's a management consultant for PWC. And she swears by this book.

Peter Wilson: Look, first of all, it's a funny book, but it's very, very poignant. What he says is there's 10%, we got lots of leaders out there, and 10% of them, only 10%. That's not a lot Toby, when they leave the room, people feel devalued, demotivated, and disrespected. And ultimately somebody says, what an asshole.

Peter Wilson: And they... So they said, "Could you change the name?" He goes, "I will not change the name," because people don't say, what a jerk, what are the, they say, what an asshole and you and I have met, you know these people I've worked for the people I know the... Now we call them boss holes, I know the boss holes I've worked for and worked and one of the things that Julie's tool does is identify boss holes so, and then top 10%. And part of our job is to let them know, "Hey, you might not be as good as you think you are 'cause you've marked yourself perfect in all nine competencies and your people haven't even marched you closer to the norm. So you might not be a five, you might be a 0.5 'cause 35 people or eight people that work with you say you're a 0.5, so who's right? I remember one CEO once saying to me, he had me do it three times. He did the ELA three times, and finally I said, "What do you think?" And he goes, if it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck, it's a duck. I said, okay. So what do you think? He goes, I think I'm a duck.

Peter Wilson: And I said, okay, cool. I said, so this will be a very short meeting or a very long meeting, and I said, I have one question for you, sir. "Are you coachable?" And Toby, he stops and he goes like, it's two minutes. He's thinking about it and he goes, "I don't know." And I said, "Oh God, that's a great answer because in 45 minutes we will know, and if you're not coachable, you'll never see me again." And it turned out he wasn't, I mean, he wasn't... I never saw the guy again. But the part of it is there was nothing in it for him. He was king. He was CEO and chairman of the board, he was king there was no more... Now you take somebody like, we did one, a big program for Home Depot, and they did 300 of their top leaders and went through that, and Annette Verschuren, the smartest CEO I have met in 40 years. This woman is so smart, Toby, they made her CEO of Home Depot, Canada and CEO of Home Depot, Asia. Asia, the the continent. And she goes like, guys, you got three years.

Peter Wilson: If you are a boss hole in year one, just you and the consultants will know. But I want you to do something about it and then we're gonna do it in year two. If you're still a boss hole, if you're still in that lowest 10%, I will ask for your name. I don't need your report. I will ask for your name and I will help you do something about it. And in year three, if you're still a boss hole you won't be here. [laughter] And she went 300, Toby, only one guy. I met him. I met the guy, I said, she gave you three years. He goes, "First of all, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I'm almost 50 years old. And he says, but tell the truth. I didn't think she was serious. Toby, if you saw what that guy was doing, this is like 20 years ago, 30 years ago. Today, under me too, under LGBT, under Black Lives Matter, what that guy was doing would be a class action suit for Home Depot. Just that one guy is doing, so these boss holes punch above their weight class today. They don't get that their behaviour actually has multiplier effect and if you're not measuring their behaviour, you can't hold them accountable, the ELA tool measures their behaviour.

Toby Mildon: So what does inclusive growth mean for you? 

Peter Wilson: Well, it's your term, I'm interested in it and I want to read more about it, I know you have your book when I first saw it, Toby, what I thought it was about is that you can't do this with just one group so we can't... If I want to grow my company and I only take Black guys over the age of 60, then that probably isn't gonna grow it to if I take it. If it's an inclusive company, I bring people in from all sorts of different backgrounds and whatnot, and we build the company together, that would be my guess. But, I'm not as up to it as I should. What is it exactly? 

Toby Mildon: For me, it was my attempt at trying to reframe diversity, inclusion, and equity for businesses because I was talking to business leaders that were treating diversity and inclusion as a bit of a box ticking exercise or something that they feel that they should be doing because the competitor is doing it. Or they were feeling the pressure to do something because employees were self organising and creating resource groups and organising events and things like that. And so I was thinking to myself when I was plotting the book, I was thinking, what is it that leaders of a business want and how can I help them with that through [1:04:34.4] ____ DNI lands? And I settled on growth because I knew that for us to make an impact in the work that we do, we have to start with the senior leaders of an organisation.

Toby Mildon: So I was like what do they care about? And so I was like okay growing the business and I've stress tested it with commercial businesses. I've stress tested it with police forces. Every organisation wants to grow. So like the police force wants to better represent the community that they serve, they want better policing outcomes and they want to have better statistics that they report back to central government, I've worked with Fintex. They want to ship their product and they want more users using their product globally and that's growth for them. And then I was like okay, so what would happen if a more representative workforce and a more inclusive culture would help you do a better job at growing your business? And that's where it came from.

Peter Wilson: Yeah. I love it, I love brilliant, brilliant. Congratulations. You know it's very much the way I described the level three and the level four that if it's not linked to a business outcome like growth then it's not gonna stay on the leadership agenda. And that's been I think the problem with what I call the Pedestrian Diversity programs. And the 3000 diversity consultants out there when I was out there, the reason they say I'm a pioneer is only because there wasn't a lot of people around. In fact there's a, I dunno if you've ever seen it. There's a magazine in the States profiles in diversity. Okay. Credible magazine been out there for a long time. I know the editor, he's an amazing guy. He's probably in his 80s right now. Jim is his name.

Peter Wilson: And they were talking about the pioneers, this is 2007 so how many years ago is that? That's a long time ago. And they and they wanted to have the pioneers of diversity, actually the global pioneers of diversity. And so they called me up and they go oh you know you're one of the guys that's a pioneer. I said what's a pioneer? And they said if you were there at the start of the industry which is 1989, when the Hudson's Institute report came out, they said if you're there at the start then you're a pioneer. I said oh okay how many are there? And they go there's about 40. And I said okay and it's global right? Says yeah, I said okay so I'm not American. How many Americans are on there? And he goes 39.

Peter Wilson: I said it's a global list and there's 39 Americans and then I'm not American right? I'm a Canadian and it's a global list, he says do you wanna be on the list or not? I said yeah I wanna be on the list but I can tell you there's people in South Africa that I met, they should be on your list. There's people in England that should be on your list. There's people in Europe there's people that, he goes do you want to be on the list or not? So I was the only Non-American. Anyways Toby, you should get this article. I'll send it to you, we were asked to write a 500 word essay all 40 of us, where did diversity come from? We all knew that. Where is it now? We all said it stalled, it stalled diversity fatigue. 2007 Toby, where is it going? 

Peter Wilson: Where is it going? 40 different answers, that was when I first talked about human equity but some people were like forget it, it didn't work get rid of it, some people said go back to equal opportunity, go back to the law, some people said go down the spiritual route put God in it. I mean all and I said let's do what Janet Smith said which is, move it beyond the group into the individual, let's talk about maximizing on human capital and human equity, that the first time that came out and we didn't know it was a thing we... So when I went to get it trademarked my lawyer said, you can't trademark this, human equity. It doesn't mean anything. Thank God I had written an article about it, and then when we went to trademark we got the trademark because of the article. But to tell the truth Toby I still didn't know what it was. I didn't know what it was until 2013. I mean till 20... When I write the book 2012. Right. But the what the point is I don't know what is the point. I've lost the point. I can't remember. What what was your question? What was your question? [laughter]

Peter Wilson: Gimme your question again. What was the question? Sorry. This is what happens when you turn 60, when you turn 65. It's not a seniors moment. You live in seniors lab. But tell me the question.

Toby Mildon: That's alright. We were just talking about inclusive growth and then you were saying Yeah yeah. Sorry we we'll edit that bit out because No no no. We are we are coming to the end anyway.

Peter Wilson: No no no. Toby don't edit it up because I want people to understand look this age thing is it's real. Like I didn't know it was real. I thought you'd just lived forever and it doesn't matter. I have a... Look. [laughter] It's a great doctor. Her name is Dr. Pearl, warning, she has no bedside manner. None zero But she will always tell you the truth. She's been my doctor for 30 years. So when I was a 50-ish okay I went to see her and I said I there's something there's something going on with my hand. I'm feeling this pain here and in and here and maybe it's carpal tunnel or something like that. And she goes "how old are you?" I said "50. I just turned 50." And she goes "you're dying."

Toby Mildon: Oh no.

Peter Wilson: I said, "what?" She goes, "you're 50 your body is dying. What do you have is called arthritis. And then your knees are gonna start to ache and then your hips are gonna and you won't be able to see the way that you saw 20 years ago. You are getting ol., Your body is dying." And and I thought oh okay now I'm 65.

Peter Wilson: I can tell you what my body looks like at 65 is not what my body is at 50. What my mind is like at 65 is not... No, I'm just talking a sample of one. But I have two mentors. Both of them are in their 80s, Alvin and Gordy. And one day I dropped James off at hockey practice, and I went to what we call a Tim Horton's Coffee Shop. And I went to Tim Horton's. Literally, it was five minutes away and I came, drove back. It's 6 o'clock in the morning. Instead of turning left, I turned to the right and Toby, I got so lost. I got lost. And I know the arena is five minutes away. And I started to panic because I couldn't... I was lost. And I called Alvin, I called one of my mentor.

Peter Wilson: I said, "Listen, I don't know what's going on, but I'm lost and I'm five minutes away from the arena." He said, "I said, tell me what is it like to be old." [laughter] And the... Look, I don't wish this on you. I hope it doesn't happen. But I go upstairs and it's like, what did I come up here for? It's very... Now it happens to everybody. There's no shame in it. And I'm not suggesting to you, I'm too old to do whatever I do, but there were things I never did and I can't do them now. I never knew how to play basketball. I'm just worse at basketball now. It's not because I'm 65. I just... I have no ability for sports. Anyways, don't edit it out. Leave it in because it happens. It happens.

Toby Mildon: I think it's a good case in point that we also need to be thinking about age inclusion because we are an aging population. People are living longer, pensionable ages are going up. So people are gonna be working for longer. And it just goes to show that actually we have to be inclusive of all age brackets. Everybody's got value within the workplace.

Peter Wilson: Agreed.

Toby Mildon: So just to kind of wrap things up.

Peter Wilson: Sure.

Toby Mildon: If the person listening to us right now would like to learn more about the work that you do, they might wanna dig a little bit deeper into human equity. What should they do? 

Peter Wilson: Well, I would just go to the website. I think our website's pretty good. It's, which is the name of the book. You can buy the book and it's fine. But if you buy the book, please don't read it from chapter one. All the... Go to the afterword of the book. Most people don't. I didn't know this. The afterword of the book was not supposed to be in the book. I wrote it out of frustration because I like to talk, but I don't like to write. So that one year of writing that book was pure hell. Every day was hell [laughter] And people would say to me, well, why are you doing it then? If you don't like it, why are you doing it? And I didn't really have a good answer. Have you ever seen Simon Sinek's Ted Talk on Start With The Why? 

Toby Mildon: Oh yeah. I use it all the time with my clients.

Peter Wilson: I had 1000 people send me that talk and say, oh, I know you don't know why you're writing the book. Listen to this talk, it will help. And I didn't have to. I listened to it about five. It's a great speech I use it as well. Anyways, one day, Toby, I sat at the computer, it wasn't coming from my mind, it came from my gut to my fingers. And I did this for like three hours at the computer. And then these pages show up and I'm like, oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. I am like, I can't put this in a book. You can't put this in. It was like stream of consciousness.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: If you ever write another book, I'm going to recommend a person, a brilliant editor now publisher, Karen Milner, M-I-L-N-E-R, Milner and Associates. Karen was, she was the associate editor on my very first book, way the hell back in the '90s. She was the executive editor on the book, my last book. And she's brilliant. So Karen, why is she brilliant? She always tells you the truth. And you know, when you write a book, you like your ideas and you think that they're pretty good ideas. It's like you have a baby, you think your baby is kind of cute, but your baby might not be cute. Karen's job is to say, "Hey Trevor, you got a ugly baby." But she's so diplomatic is she'll tell you that and you'll say, "Oh, thanks Karen. Thank you for telling me." Okay. So I called Karen up. I said, listen, I wrote these 20 pages.

Peter Wilson: I don't think it goes in the book, but you're the editor. If you tell me it goes in the book, I'll put in the book. But if you say it's gotta go in the book, you gotta tell me where it goes. 'Cause I don't know where it fits. Not section one, not section two, not section three. She goes, yeah, okay. She goes, you can send it to me, but you don't really need to. I know where it goes. I said, "Where does it go?" She goes, it's an afterword. I said, "You mean a foreword?" She goes, "No, no, no. An afterword." I said, "an after... I've never heard of an afterword." She goes, yeah, you don't see them very much. They're sometimes they call them Epilogues, but she goes, "The good news is nobody, nobody ever reads them. So if you have a secret and you don't want anybody ever to know then put it in an afterword. Nobody will ever read it [laughter] and then she says, "Unless they're supposed to." So I'm like, wow so I put it in as an afterword, Toby, I swear to God, the day I pressed send on the manuscript, I was like, shit, I hope Karen's not wrong. I hope nobody ever sees the afterword because in the afterword I was coming out of the closet on spirituality. I was like, Hey, I believe in this part, I don't believe in... I'm not a religious guy, I don't believe in... But I believe there's a power beyond myself and I was coming outta the closet on that. Right? 

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: And I was afraid that if people knew, oh, this guy believes in God, he's a Jesus freak, or something like that and my reputation, whatever it was, would be killed. Anyways, so send it out. Fast foreword five months later, we were doing the first book signing and you know these book signings, people just line up and you just sign the book and whatever. So this dude comes up with this book and he goes, he says, "Sir, I think you have to write another book." And I said, "Hey, I'm not gonna bore you with the details, but I can tell you I will never write another book again." I said, "this book almost killed me." [laughter] And I will never write another book again. He goes, no, no, he says, "you don't understand." He goes, "I read your afterword."

Peter Wilson: I said, you're not supposed to read the afterword [laughter] Why did you read the afterword? You're not supposed to read the afterword. Karen said, nobody reads the afterword [laughter] And he goes, "The afterword is your book. You don't realize if you read the 20 pages, you don't have to read the 245 pages. You get it in 20 pages, now it's the 20 pages from the right side of your brain, and the 245 are from the left, right but you don't... " And so now I say to people, yeah, okay, buy the book, but don't read it and my publisher hates when I say this, but I'm just telling you, you don't have to read the whole thing. Now, it's a business book. You use it as a reference book. But read the 20 pages, read the afterword. If you can get the 20 pages, it's the essence of it.

Toby Mildon: Yeah Stephen Covey says,"Begin With the End in Mind." So get your book and start at the end with the afterwords.

Peter Wilson: Now, Covey, I'm a fan of both Covey and his son, he dealt with truth. I would read all... The seven habits, I mean, I'm a fan of Covey. He was deep thinking, is he still alive? Is...

Toby Mildon: He passed away unfortunately. Yeah.

Peter Wilson: Right. But his son who does the stuff on truth he's a good stuff. I would read their whole book, I'm not saying don't read it keep it around and tell people, yeah, but you don't have to.

Toby Mildon: Yeah well, Peter it's been wonderful speaking with you today. Thank you, thanks ever so much for your time, I've loved our conversation and our podcast episodes are normally 20 minutes long but I think we're like approaching an hour and a half now. [laughter] But I'll tell you what it's been worth it.

Peter Wilson: No, no no one of my ex-wives now, okay, let me get clear on this. These women are still in my life for two reasons, I marry great mothers, okay and a great mother is a mother that would die for their children or kill for their children. I marry women like that, I don't have to worry about my kids, my kids have had the greatest mother, the best mothers. Now I haven't been... I was a good provider, I just wasn't a really good husband because I was a workaholic. So if you're spending 20 hours in your business, you don't have 20 hours to spend with anything else, with your wife, with your kids, with your body, with your... Now I don't call them ex-wives, I call them wives in law because I will be in relationship with these women until I die, or until any of my kids die or until they die. And sometimes they don't like me and lots of times I don't like them. It doesn't matter. I still have to... You know what I mean? 

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Peter Wilson: So I just want to be on record about that 'cause one of my wives in law would say to me, you talk too much. You had a half an hour and you went on talking with this guy for an hour and a half [laughter] And I said, oh yeah, but they can edit, he can edit down to... Good luck with that by the way. [laughter]

Toby Mildon: I'm not gonna edit it. Honestly, I think our conversation today has been gold dust and there's nothing I wanna delete from the conversation and I think if the person listening to us right now is still hanging on, then I think that's great, [laughter] I'm really glad that they came on this journey with both of us today.

Peter Wilson: Well, I like your podcast by the way, I was a fan of your podcast before you called because one of the things is, I love that you've done a lot of them and you can look by the title and say, oh, I'm gonna listen to this one and because they are relatively short, I can just listen to them in the car and whatnot and your stuff is good stuff, right? 

Toby Mildon: Well, this episode, somebody's gonna have to have a road trip rather than the quick commute to the office.


Peter Wilson: Or they break... What we do with our interviews, we break them down. We have a guy, Josh, who can break it down into two minute sound bites and then he'll put it on and then people say, if you want the full interview, go here and what... Or you can just put it on pause, put on pause and come back to it next week and whatever but I've enjoyed it, you're a great interviewer, thank you very much. Congratulations on your success, if you're going to do the, what'd you say? A billion euros or is it a billion dollars? 

Toby Mildon: Half a billion pounds.

Peter Wilson: Half a billion pounds, so I'm gonna ask my business development people to talk to you, but congratulations on that and yeah, just more success go forward.

Toby Mildon: Brilliant. Well, Peter, thank you ever so much for your time today. I've loved our conversation and hopefully the person listening to us right now has taken away some of your words of wisdom and they can apply it at their own organisation, so thank you very much.

Peter Wilson: Now, the one word I wanna say to that is Inshallah. Now very, very quick, most people don't know what Inshallah means, and I would encourage people to move beyond the Google thing. But what I was taught by a great spiritual master, actually in one of the Muslim countries, what she said was, it's not God willing, it's if it is consistent with the plan of God. So if I say, Toby, I'll see you tomorrow, Inshallah and the plan of God is see Toby tomorrow, I'll see you tomorrow and if I say, see you tomorrow, Toby, Inshallah but the plan of God is I don't see you tomorrow, I don't see you tomorrow and if I say, Toby, I'll never see you again Inshallah and the plan of God is, see Toby tomorrow, I will see you tomorrow. So she says to me, it's always consistent with the plan of God. Now why do you suffer so much? I used to suffer a lot, she says, "because you think your idea is better than the plan of God and God is never wrong." And so she gave me a real peace around just let it flow. And the Christians sometimes call it, let go, let God, it's gonna work out and you know, I can say that at 65, I could never say it at 55, 45, 35, 25 but there's something that comes with the white hair. Some people call it wisdom and so that'd be my two cents for that, see you again Inshallah.

Toby Mildon: I will see you again. Thank you ever so much and thank you for tuning into this episode of the Inclusive Growth Podcast. Hopefully you've enjoyed my conversation with Peter as much as I have and you'll take some great tips and advice away from me... Away with you sorry, to apply to your own organisation until the next time. I'll see you on the next episode of the podcast, which will be coming up very soon, take care.


Speaker 3: Thank you for listening to the Inclusive Growth Show for further information and resources from Toby and his team, head on over to our website