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Raamon Newman of New Mavericks: “Take time to be in the company of the wise”

Take time to be in the company of the wise — There are always peoplewho are more evolved than us in some way. Some are healthier, wealthier, more creative, more musical, etc. Spending time with people who are better than us in some area expands our awareness about what is possible and we can by osmosis utilize […]

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Take time to be in the company of the wise — There are always peoplewho are more evolved than us in some way. Some are healthier, wealthier, more creative, more musical, etc. Spending time with people who are better than us in some area expands our awareness about what is possible and we can by osmosis utilize that to achieve in a more efficient and wise way.


As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Raamon Newman.

Raamon Newman, is the co-founder and CEO of New Mavericks, a consultancy based in LA.

He has worked with top CEOs and executives over the last two decades, helping them achieve greater capacity to lead while protecting themselves, their team and their trajectory from excessive stress, negativity, and incoherence. His passion is helping leaders maintain a projected advantage in any market. Raamon recently co-authored, The Science of Protection: How Leaders Gain An Unfair Advantage to Create Stellar Success.


Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was born and raised in New Zealand and spent the first two decades of life there being a typical Kiwi sport obsessed kid. I excelled in running and rugby winning national and provincial titles in both sports. I missed qualifying for the World Junior Champs by a couple of seconds in the 1500m and got serious respiratory and digestive problems resulting in burnout.

I realized, “I required deeper knowledge, more profound knowledge of how my mind and body really works.” After a few years working in the U.S. I decided to do a one-year commitment as a full time meditating at age 25.

Tens of thousands of hours of deep silent meditation and 10 years later I decided to return and re-integrate with the world again, to see how I could serve — this time with a little more self-awareness. My no-holds bar reintegration involved going to New York City for a six-week summer acting program that later turned into two years. This just so happened to be at the start of the global financial meltdown in mid-2007.

Based on my athletic and monk experiences, the acting training and performing and the financial meltdown, I felt a calling well up inside me to serve leaders. To help them develop their inner mental capacity to make better decisions that protect themselves and those they lead as they achieve.

Over the last decade, we’ve worked with over 50 CEOs and executives, most of them for 5–10 years, helping them work through the pressures and challenges of their role and have more support for what they envision. We’ve witnessed and helped some great successes, we’ve also seen leaders get undermined by unexpected events affecting their health, wealth, happiness, relationships and reputation.

This was the catalyst of our new book The Science of Protection: How Leaders Gain An Unfair Advantage to Create Stellar Success. The book gives leaders insights about how to protect themselves and those they lead as they strive to achieve.

I’ve resided in Los Angeles for the last ten years and continue to serve leaders & investors of publicly listed companies in U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.

According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?

New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman calls the age we live in the age of acceleration, mostly due to increasing speed of information processing and globalization due to the relentless pursuit of progress.

This has probably enhanced the rushing mentality as people become increasingly objective referral, basing their sense of self on external objects and outcomes, versus being self-referral, basing their sense of self on who they are and what they want to become and experience. We go deep into this in our book. From a neurophysiological perspective when people feel rushed they are functioning mostly from their lower brain; the amygdala is running the show. This is over come through coherence with the CEO of the brain, the pre-frontal cortex. Neuroscientists Dr. Fred Travis & Dr. Harald Harung, authors of the book World-Class Brain, found that world class athletes, business leaders, and musicians have a unique style of brain functioning when performing at their best.

Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?

As a hyperactive sport obsessed academically determined teenager I was constantly rushing to the next thing, the next training, the next social event, the next game, the next class, the next assignment. This undermined my mental and physical wellbeing and usually led to the next cold, the next injury, the next accident, and the next breakup. I short sold myself on rest and ended up breaking down rather than breakthrough to the next level in my pursuits.

In short, rushing or being overly ambitious increases cortisol, decreases oxytocin and reduces immunity.

When we are rushed, we miss things, sometimes obvious things we normally wouldn’t miss when we are settled.

Our book gives plenty examples of how top leaders of top companies have caused stress induced performance and health issues, conflict, inappropriate behavior, and unfortunately early death and suicide.

On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?

I found that when I learned to transcend, settle my mind, through transcendental meditation I experienced a unique state of rest that in some ways was deeper than sleep. Normally during sleep, cortisol levels drop 10–12%, during transcending they drop 30–40%. From this I found I was training less and in a smarter way and still competing at the same high level.

A client said to us once “I’ve been trying to make five deals work and they’re not working and I don’t know why.” We let him know it’s because he’s lost sight of developing himself as the basis for growing the business. He went on to do the biggest deal in his career and doubled the company from 3B dollars to 6B dollars in a just few months. He said he felt calm and relaxed, like the eye of the storm.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

Make rest the basis of activity — Know when to go to rest rather than ignoring the signs of tiredness and fatigue. Failing to rest when we really need to can lead to costly mistakes or getting ill which then prolongs essential task items.

Transcend daily — The best quality rest you can give the mind is when you allow it to transcend the surface-active level of thinking and experience the settled calm level of being, the source of thinking, pure awareness. This allows one to be more in tune with the right thinking at the right time rather than having too many thoughts or not enough quality thoughts.

The world’s most validated transcending meditation technique is transcendental meditation. The first time I learned to transcend properly I had such a contrast in what being settled really is that I felt like I was walking on the clouds afterwards.

Regular exercise — Exercise moves stuck energy and increases those feel-good endorphins in the body which gives more clarity and stability to our mind and emotions. I find many problems are resolved when I’m not actively thinking about them or when I’m activating more of my brain potential, like while exercising.

Decide first and fully commit, believe and feel what you want to see happen. — Deciding big is more effective than thinking big because when we decide big, like when we are going to buy or sell the business or home or car, then naturally the right thinking starts to follow suit.

Make fulfillment the goal not achievement and plan accordingly — I try to base decisions on what fulfills me as a person and fulfills others because achievements come and go whereas who I am goes on beyond achievements and failures. 40% of CEOs fail in the first 18 months, I believe this is because they are primarily achievement based and not fulfillment and purpose based.

Take time to be in the company of the wise — There are always peoplewho are more evolved than us in some way. Some are healthier, wealthier, more creative, more musical, etc. Spending time with people who are better than us in some area expands our awareness about what is possible and we can by osmosis utilize that to achieve in a more efficient and wise way.

How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?

For me mindfulness is having a fully awake truthful and creative leadership state of mind that proactively

averts threats before they arise and sees opportunities as they arise. I don’t believe it’s being mindful of everything that is going on in and around you, as that would make the mind too full and cluttered with things that are not even relevant.

Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?

Before making a major decision, making a presentation, or responding to an important email, take time ask for a private conversation with the person of interest to ask appropriate clarifying questions to reveal or confirm what they are experiencing and wanting to experience. Acknowledge them and their experience and what they want to experience and ask for suggestions how you could help or support them.

Ask for feedback after interactions with people or regular reviews so you can affirm or calibrate the way you are influencing others.

Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?

I don’t use any apps for mindfulness, but I do use transcendental meditation to help my mind be clearer, calmer, and more mindful. I also use mindsets to help create agreements with people, such as:

We are in agreement — this means my mind is intent and does not waver about an agreement being possible.

I can easily overcome any obstacles in working out the details of the agreement.

I will fulfill their top objective no matter what, as long as I get what I need to do that.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices?

Books:

World Class Brain by Harald Harung & Frederick Travis

Strength in Stillness by Bob Roth

Bias choice: The Science of Protection: How Leaders Gain An Unfair Advantage to Create Stellar Success by Raamon Newman & Sara Diehl with Paolo D’Angelo

Podcasts:

Spiritual Rockstar by Daniel Hanneman

The Great Fail by Debra Chen

The Social Ninjas by Kyle and Jeremy

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“What you are, so is your world. Everything in the universe is resolved into your own experience”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

This gave me a lot of relief after I burnout as an athlete. It empowered me to know that I have the biggest influence in creating what I am experiencing. If I want to change my experience, I have to change what and who I am — which I have direct control over.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would say this would be a movement of enlightened leaders who know how to raise the individual and collective consciousness of their team, company, city, nation and world from the inside out. So everyone can live to their full potential and enjoy protected progress with their health, wealth, happiness, relationships, reputation and environment.

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