Inside Influence


The Next Right Thing: Brandon Webb on pivots, staying fluid and harnessing with fear

Season 1, Ep. 78

Hi – this is Julie Masters and you’re listening to The Next Right Thing – a mini-series from The Inside Influence Team. Designed to provide some actionable certainty in uncertain times. Specifically – and the situation we’re all facing right now – the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea behind this series is to go out to some of the most popular guests from past episodes of Inside Influence – and ask them one question: ‘What are the most important things you are focusing on right now (tools, ideas, strategies) - or advising your clients to focus on - that you know for sure work in uncertain times?’

The intention being that somewhere in there, you will find inspiration for your next right thing – a point of certainty amidst the uncertainty.

In this episode I speak with… Brandon Webb. Former US Navy SEAL sniper, New York Times bestselling author and Entrepreneur. He has received numerous distinguished service awards - including the Presidential Unit Citation (awarded to him by President George W. Bush), and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal with “V” for valour in combat.

After ending his Navy career, he then went on to embark on an entrepreneurial journey that – first time out of the gate – literally resulted in him losing everything. Undeterred - he dove deep into the pivot and went on to found Hurricane Media - a digital content network now valued at over $100 Million dollars

This episode jumps around a bit but the there's 3 or 4 gold nuggets I want you to listen out for...

In this episode, we talk about mental management Navy SEAL style, getting off the X and staying fluid, drown-proofing (literally a concept that changed my life – professionally and personally) and surrounding yourself with the right people when the terrain gets unclear.

You may notice a fair amount of background noise in this episode – for those of you that are particularly sensitive to that – I totally get it. It’s just the trade off we had to make to get this one out there. Interesting side story…

If you want to dig even further into Brandon’s genius – you can also hunt down our previous conversation - which I believe is episode No. 38. 

But for now, and as always with these episodes – and all of the Inside Influence conversations come to think of it - I hope somewhere in here you find the fuel you need for your next right move.

More Episodes


Gautam Mishra - The Future of the News: Truth, trust and how to turn this ship around

Season 1, Ep. 110
Gautam Mishra - The Future of the News: Truth, trust and how to turn this ship aroundWe are drowning in news, fake and otherwise. And our time, energy, and mental health is suffering as a result. During the initial lockdowns last year, I found myself 'opting out'. I was overwhelmed.But as influencers, we need to stay engaged and focused. And we need to be deliberate about the news we watch and listen to. We need to make it a habit. Avoiding the news is not the answer.Where do you go to get your news? What news should you pay attention to?On today’s Inside Influence Podcast episode, we talk to Gautam Mishra the founder of Inkl.Gautam talks about why he founded Inkl, the importance of getting the right news, and the future of the industry. He also advises on how to stay informed and balanced while avoiding the traps of social media.Inkl is a premium news service that uses an algorithm to recommend stories from over 100+ trusted global sources like The Economist and The Guardian. It recommends stories based on news value (as determined by the publishers themselves) rather than what is trending. It also presents alternative voices to its stories, “Good News”, and original journalism. It has been called the “Spotify for news”.During the pandemic, Inkl has seen its revenues double as people have turned to quality news sources. Publishers like Inkl because it pays a higher rate than normal online advertising.Today’s Guest Gautam MishraSchooled in Kolkata, Gautam went to university in the US and graduated with an MBA from the Wharton Business School.Even as a boy, Gautam was a news tragic. He wrote stories for his local newspaper and was editor of his school newspaper. While at Wharton he helped edit the Wharton Journal.Moving to Australia he became General Manager for Strategy, Data, and Research for Fairfax Media, owner of the leading national newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.While at Fairfax he became an expert in paywalls and who and why people were paying for news.In 2013, he left Fairfax to co-found AirShr (an interactive radio app) and Inkl. Today, he is the CEO of Inkl.Website: @inklcomTwitter: jeamishLinkedin:“There are not many parallels for this in history where the value of a customer has collapsed by 99 percent and the business has survived it.” Gautam Mishra.You’ll learnAs readers there has been an explosion in the number of topics and sources we follow.Social media algorithms give us information we already know and love. News platform algorithms are designed to give us information we don’t already know but need to know.Social media is great for sharing news articles but as an open platform it is not good at checking their veracity.A lot of news we now read or even pictures we see come from unknown sources with undeclared biases. This makes it harder for us to process the information.This is why providence is important.Since the introduction of the internet, the revenues of newspapers have collapsed by something like 99 percent.Online advertising is not working. People are not logging on to news websites. Google and Facebook attract the lion’s share of online advertising, and the small size of mobile phone screens make online advertising difficult.News platforms are moving to subscription models, which provide revenues per user a hundred times greater than online advertising.The importance of providing people with sufficient information on their path to conviction over an issue.References and links mentionedBBC Article mentioned in the intro - How the news changes the way we think and behaveSubstack - newsletter serviceFuture Crunch - new learning experiences for key new knowledge (my podcast episode with Future Crunch)For anyone who wants to explore Inkl further after listening to this conversation, Gautam has offered a 14 day free trial to all Influence Insiders. You can access it via this URL:, don’t forget to hop on and download my new ebook The Influencer Code which is available on my website To & Review The Inside Influence PodcastThanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Inside Influence Podcast! If the information in my conversations and interviews have helped you in your business journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing people just like you!

Manal al-Sharif - Daring to drive the change: Courage, conviction and the power of using your voice

Season 1, Ep. 109
I want you to imagine for a second that your son or daughter – or niece or nephew if you don’t have children – is your legal guardian.You need their written permission to open a bank account, get a job, get married, get divorced or leave the country. If something were to happen to them, your ownership would then be passed to someone else.As part of this system, you’re also not able to leave the house alone, drive, show your face, have your name used in public – the list goes on.When I first started researching todays episode – I had to take a second with that. What parts of my life right now would be or would have been impossible? How would I navigate the day-to-day practical aspects of just existing?Having had those freedoms throughout my lifetime, it’s hard if not impossible to imagine having them taken away. Let alone not having them in the first place.My guest today grew up within such a world. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, a country in which - prior to 2019 - women were not permitted legal guardianship over their own lives – including being (until 2018) the last nation on earth to give women the right to drive.There have been a number of reforms in women’s rights within Saudi Arabia over the past few years – including women’s right to take guardianship over their own lives after the age of 21 - and an increase in participation of women in the workforce from 20% to 33% within the past two years.However, pivotal to these reforms, are the women that - in the case of today’s guest -quite literally ‘drove’ that movement. A movement that both divided – and then changed an entire Nation.My guest today is Manal Al-Sharif. I was first introduced to Manal a few years ago when – in exile from her own country – she moved to Australia. Since then we have stayed in touch, and I have watched in awe as she travelled the world speaking on International stages to talk about her activism – and later her incredible book ‘Daring to Drive’.In 2011, Manal co-founded and led the #Women2Drive movement. To challenge the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. She was arrested and imprisoned for "driving while female" and was released on the condition that she never drive again on Saudi lands and never speak about it.Ignoring these conditions Manal continued campaigning for #Women2Drive and the #IAmMyOwnGuardian movement - with the aim to end male guardianship in her country. In June of 2018 the Saudi government lifted the ban on women driving. Manal then went on to start #Faraj, a campaign to help domestic helpers leave jail, and #IAmLama which resulted in codifying the first anti-domestic violence law in Saudi.As a result of her tireless activism, she was awarded the first Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent. Including being listed as one ofTIME Magazine's100 mostinfluential people, and Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech.Manal is a TED and Harvard speaker, she has also spoken for the United Nations, UNESCO, the Obama Summit, Google, Yahoo!, the Oslo Freedom Forum and many others.In this conversation, I finally had chance to ask some of the questions I had always wanted to ask her. Including:The day of her arrest – and what went through her mind as she heard those knocks on her door at 2am, while her 5-year-old son slept upstairs.What she learnt about using her voice so publicly - against a structure or system that seemed impenetrable – and how she handled the inevitable backlash.What it takes to not only start a movement – but to see it through to its conclusion. We tend to hear a lot about movements in their early stages, but not so much in the months and years later - when those at the frontline are still tirelessly fighting – often without resources, media or financial support.How she handles the personal consequences of what happened. Including the impact on her career and her ability to see her children – and how she prepares every day to help her sons understand the decisions she made. Favourite part…And why – for a large portion of the planet – we still live in a world driven by ‘rules that were written in our absence”- and what she now understands about how you start to question and then rewrite those rules.Please be warned that some parts of this interview contain violent language and swearing. So I’ll leave it to you to decide whose ears should be listening.For me, Manal is one of those individuals that – when she walks into a room – the clocks literally stop. Such is the palpable strength of her presence and conviction.However, what I’d love you to reflect on here is not necessarily the size of her strength.It’s the smaller decisions. The moment by moment – day by day choices to commit and recommit. A favourite quote from the suffragette movement is that it is ‘deeds and not words’ that changes things. What aspect of the world around you right now seems broken, no longer useful or in need of a rewrite?What deed, however large, could you undertake – or whose deeds can you actively support in the long term – to help get that change made?That's a question that’s very much on my mind at the moment.On that note, sit back, cycle on, stride out, drive safe and enjoy my conversation with the undeniable force that is Manal Al-Sharif.

Hamish Thomson - Why it’s not always right to be right: Plus other hard won leadership lessons

Season 1, Ep. 108
One of the great things about the world of founders and entrepreneurs – and for anyone in that arena you’ll know there are many not so great things – is that you get to choose your landscape.No one is going to walk into your office at 2pm on a rainy Tuesday afternoon - and announce that you now work somewhere else, possibly in a different country, leading a whole new team, with a whole new batch of KPI’s, stakeholders and challenges.Such is the world of the organisational leader. The corporate leader who, entrepreneurial and innovative as he or she may be – still needs to exist within a legacy and structure that is largely out of their hands.Now don’t get me wrong - that journey also comes with definite advantages – mentors, resources, consistency, a carefully refined playbook – but as we all know, the bigger the ship, the more entrenched the culture and the more stakeholders – the harder it can be to turn around.Honestly, I’ve never really spent much time on the art of corporate leadership within this podcast – I’ve always owned and run my own businesses so it’s not a world I’m deeply familiar with – plus I’ve tended to believe we can learn more about influence on the fringes - than the centre of business as usual.But oh how wrong it seems I have been. Flashback to a few months ago, when a publisher colleague of mine handed me a new book about to hit the shelves called: ‘Why it’s not always right to be right: And other hard won leadership lessons’.Written by Hamish Thomson, it’s a book that beautifully documents the learnings, stories and strategies he learnt during a 30-year journey from (his own words) a fresh-faced account executive in the London advertising scene – to the Regional President and Global Brand head for Mars - one of the most iconic and recognised brands on the planet.In this conversation we dive hard into:The namesake of the book – why as a leader it’s not always right to be right. And what metric successful leaders focus on instead.Using the 30% rule to light a fire under any team or target – anyone that’s looking to get serious traction will want to take some notes here.Time on the ball – why those leaders that truly become iconic are those that learn how to stop translating pressure into stress.The concept of drains and radiators – and how one conversation in a stairwell can pivot an entire organisation.And finally – my personal favorite, so much so that it’s now written on a post-it note on my desk. I’m looking at it right now. How to stop confusing motion with impact.Probably the piece I have been thinking most about since we recorded this interview, is the part around limiting beliefs. Or upper limit thinking.You’ll hear Hamish talk a lot about the courage it takes to not only talk about the elephants in the room with his teams – those limiting beliefs about why this will never work, what’s been tried before and how the resources will never stretch that far.But actually taking it one step further – by placing those beliefs on the table, documenting them, questioning them and agreeing to release them as a team.Whether you’re a solo start up, an experienced leader or the CEO of a multinational enterprise – that’s a powerful (and visible) commitment to removing whatever blocks stand between where you are - and what’s possible.On that note, sit back, drive on, stride out and I’ll leave you with the insights of a veteran of leadership – Hamish Thomson.