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The McCarthy Show™

1. Hypocritic Oath

Jim and Michele discuss what it means to actually have a team vs. theoretically having a team. They discuss the hypocrisy endemic to all things team, and in particular note the tendency to preach about that which one doesn’t do, or preach against that which what one does. This must be some sort of a perverse oath public speakers (like Jim) take.

2. Individualism and Unanimity

Unanimous team decisions are the best way to get results. Michele and Jim discuss how it is possible to retain one’s identity while still getting a team to act with a single voice.

3. Discussion Should be Illegal

Discussion usually costs a lot of team energy but doesn’t move the team toward solving the problem. Precious time and energy are expended in discussions which could be funneled towards action.

4. Don’t Do Anything Dumb on Purpose

People make lots of mistakes, but the key is not to do something you know is dumb on purpose. If you do something or see something dumb, it is your responsibility to stop this waste.

5. The Booted

Jim and Michele talk about the evolution of the core and how they have taken their ideas and had them perfected by others over the past decade.

6. How to Reward Employees

Jim and Michele talk about rewarding employees… Focusing on morale never actually improves morale and wastes time.

7. Money Talks

Rewarding employees who show the best behaviours is infintely better than rewarding all employees equally.

8. Investigate INVESTIGATE

How to learn anything from others without driving them nuts. A protocol called Investigate is described.

9. Investigate in Action

Witness the investigate protocol in action. Jim investigates Michele about how she feels about step parenting.

10. Aggregating Intelligence

We all wait for a genius like Mozart or Einstein to show up and change civilization. Jim and Michele discuss how to create a genius by aggregating the intelligence of a team.

11. Solving the World’s Problems

Jim and Michele discuss the origin of the Perfection Game and how it makes giving and receiving criticism an enjoyable experience.

12. What I Want

Are you getting what you want? Jim and Michele discuss the personal alignment protocol which is critical to getting what you want.

13. What I Want (Part II)

Michele investigates Jim and how his personal alignment is working for him.

14. Alignment Mojo

Jim and Michele talk about what to do after figuring out your personal alignment.

15. Family Time

Fiona and Alex talk with Michele (their Mom) about how they use the protocols in their life.

16. If You See It, You Own It

Jim and Michele talk about what to do if you aren’t getting what you want.

17. The Lumber Tax

If you are going to live in the forest, you gotta pay the tax. Men are great to work with, but there is always a price to pay. Michele and Jim give tips and tricks on the different types of taxes you can pay to make working with men easier.

18. Templates

Jim and Michele discuss the concept of templates and that people are exactly like their primary care giver, or exactly the opposite. Unless you are aware of this tendency, it will govern your actions.

19. If You Tolerate It, You Insist On It

If you see something happening that you don’t agree with but do nothing, then you are condoning it. You are responsible for what you see around you.

20. Budgetary Blues

People are more concerned about meeting their budget than making money for the corporation they work for. Jim and Michele examine the fallacies in modern day budgeting.

21. Budgetary Blues (Part II)

See yourself as responsible for the financial well being of the corporation that you have contracted to work with. Michele does a great impersonation of someone who complains about their budget.

22. Greatness

What is greatness, and what you can do to defeat Osama bin Laden.

23. Foundations of Mediocrity – Reorgs

Reorgs are a great way to increase stalling. When there are no more stories about why things aren’t getting done, people usually create reorgs to explain their mediocrity.

24. Foundations of Mediocrity – Reorgs (Part II)

Everyone has a pixel. Don’t try and control someone’s pixel – let them control it. Get everyone engaged in making the vision happen.

25. Foundations of Mediocrity – The Schedule

People are willing to proceed as if they can look into a crystal ball and see the future, wasting time and doing the impossible. Jim and Michele give some ideas to get projects done as quick as possible.

26. Foundations of Mediocrity – The Schedule (Part II)

Jim and Michele provide great suggestions on how to effectively accomplish project goals.

27. Foundations of Mediocrity – The Quarterly Analysts Meeting

Is it really worth an organization’s time to spend the majority of their senior executive’s energy getting ready for quarterly analyst meetings? Wouldn’t this time be better spent making a great company? Jim and Michele discuss a better way of handling quarterly analysts meetings.

28. Your Boss is Your Best Customer

Most people look at their boss as a parent, doing anything they say and wanting their boss to take care of them at all times. A better way is to look at this relationship is to view your boss as your best customer. This means doing a great job no matter how they act. You perform a service and they pay you for it.

29. The Perfect Boss

Have you always wondered what the perfect boss was like? Whether you want to find or become the perfect boss, this episode is for you.

30. Ask For Help

Live from Visilia Country. Jim and Michele explore how asking for help can generate enormous returns.

31. Ask For Help (Part II)

Jim signs up for the great ask for help experiment.

32. Action Camp

Jim and Michele talk about Action Camp, the latest product from McCarthy Technologies.

33. Men and their Alpha

Trying to understand how to work with men? Jim and Michele examine the power structures that men live in and how to optimize their performance when working in teams.

34. Gender in the Workplace

For many people it is taboo to talk about the different strengths that men and women bring to the workplace. Not so for Jim and Michele. Each gender brings with it a set of traits that can provide incredible value to a team.

35. Grassroots Booting

Rachael, a core certified instructor and inventor of decider, joins Jim and Michele this show. She discusses her observations on how to establish the core in a grassroots fashion and various experiments she is trying.

36. Grassroots Booting (Part II)

Rachael continues to talk about her experiences with Jim and Michele. They explore bootcamp at work, projection, and her new equation me=team=product.

37. Grassroots Booting (Part III)

Rachael sings a song and continues to share thoughts on improving The Core. Improvements to Decider and Check-in are discussed.

38. In Search of Beauty

Jim and Michele welcome Mark to the show and discuss his Alignment of Beauty.

39. Next Generation Decider

Michele introduces a new version of decider aimed at making decisions in large groups. If you work with a big team, this podcast shouldn’t be missed.

40. Next Generation Decider (Part II)

Michele continues to share her observations on the next generation of decider.

41. No Hurt Feelings

Why are people so afraid to share or talk about their feelings? Jim and Michele illustrate how feeling are essential to high performance teams.

42. Trippin to Russia ‘n Kiev

Jim shares tales from his recent trip to Moscow and Kiev.

43. Alignment, The Easy Way

Many people take simple ideas and pretend they are complicated when they are afraid of the idea.

44. Don’t Listen to Me

People need to think for themselves. Jim recounts how someone followed advice he gave 8 years earlier.

45. Status Updates

Michele shares how to effectively communicate status to customers and bosses.

46. Foundations of Mediocrity – The Agenda

Jim and Michele discuss how trying to keep people on an Agenda is unproductive.

47. Focus on the Best Behaviour

Most people give their attention to people exhibiting bad behavior. The best way to get results is exactly the opposite – focus on those people giving the best results.

48. Welcome Becca

Rebecca’s joins Jim and Michele to talk about her first experience at bootcamp.

49. Hiring Great People

Hiring smart people is key to making an organization great. Jim and Michele share what they look for when hiring great people.

50. Firing

Michele’s dad Donald joins the show to talk about firing individuals that don’t perform.

51. Ask For Help Saga

Jim begins a set of updates about his great ask for help experiment.

52. Ask For Help Saga (Part II)

In this ongoing saga, Jim shares his observations from Russia on Ask For Help.

53. Ask For Help Saga (Part III)

Jim goes vulnerable and shares his big personal revelation about the power behind asking for help.

54. Tell a Friend

We have a great secret we want to share with the world. Listen and help spread our secret.

55. Boss Whisperer, Horses, and TReg Cells

Jim and Michele show how the natural world containts secrets to teamwork. They discuss how by observing horses and T Cells we can learn much more about teamwork.

56. Prioritization and Foot Faults

Michele and Jim share their wisdom about prioritization and a funny tennis story.

57. I’m Crazy – Is that Bad?

Everyone is a little bit crazy… How much is too much?

58. Integrity

Integrity is one of the hardest virtues to maintain at all times. Jim and Michele discuss integrity and explore tough situations we have all faced at work.

59. Pleasure is an Odd Number

Have you ever noticed that only one person is happy in a marriage at one time? Jim and Michele explore this phenomena.

60. What is the Message?

Every product needs a message in order to succeed. Jim and Michele discuss how to create great messages.

61. House Rules

The McCarthy family talks about the rules that they use in their family.

62. House Rules (Part II)

A continuing look into the rules that the McCarthy family lives by.

63. Is Pain Real or Just a Symptom?

Are pain and sickness an excuse we use when we are afraid of a situation and don’t want to face it?

64. Trust

Trust is a key ingredient in a healthy team. When high levels of trust exist, magic happens.

65. One-One

Jim and Michele talk about the benefits of using One-One meetings as a way of managing teams.

66. One Hundred and Five Days Late

Michele shares her tips on how to ship software that is late.

67. Credit Mapping

Jim and Michele talk about how to take team success and map it to individual careers.

68. Vulnerability

People follow leaders who exhibit vulnerability.

69. The Chain of Command

Jim and Michele talk about craziness when people deal with their bosses and the chain of management above them.

70. Receptivity

Jim and Michele discuss receptivity and how it can drastically improve results on a team.

71. Technicality

Jim and Michele discuss how people can fall into the trap of thinking something is overly technical when it is really poor communmication skills or someone trying to make themselves sound important.

72. Drama

If you aren’t getting results, then you are in the middle of drama. Jim and Michele talk about how to recognize drama and the issues surrounding it.

73. The Ugliness of Groups

Have you ever noticed that even brilliant ideas are rejected by groups? Michele and Jim investigate this phenomenon and share some ideas to help overcome the resistance.

74. A Boss Whisperer

If your boss doesn’t stop you, you have a great boss. What makes a great boss? What is the employee’s accountability if they have a great boss? Learn the rule of thumb for deciding if you have a great boss, and what your responsibilities are if you do.

75. The Viral Boot

A protocol for spreading The Core Technology. How could you boot a group in 90 minutes? Jim and Michele walk through the steps of a viral protocol for quickly booting groups.

76. The Creative Process

“The unique unprecedented moment when spirit touches matter…” Guest Patrick McCarthy and Jim discuss the creative process including definitions of creativity, examples of the creative process, and insights into maintaining creative output. View Patrick McCarthy’s paintings at

77. ScaryIdea Protocol

Whatever your reason for holding back a scary or big idea, imagine that each time you choose not to share these ideas, you are limiting your team’s potential for creativity. Even if your idea is unusual or impossible to realize, someone on your team may be able to think of ways to make some version of it realized, or at least it will inspire them to think of a better one.

78. Introducing the Core using Cheat Sheets

Guest Rebecca Frame reports on how she introduced The Core Protocols to her team using the new Cheat Sheets.

80. The Art of Pretending

Pretend your children have all the ideas and you don’t; pretend the only thing you have on them is experience. Pretend that some better state is true and try it out. Jim and Michele talk about the art of pretending and how it can be used at home and work.

81. How to Talk Like an Adult

What are the qualities of an adult conversation? Jim and Michele discuss ways in which adults communicate, and methods for improving the exchange of information.

82. The Problem of Design

Great designers empathize with those who will be using the product. Jim and Michele work through some design ideas and talk about the importance of a shared vision and techniques for improving the design process.

83. Pretend Part II: Seek Diversity

Pretend we are designed to connect with others at a high-bandwidth, high-intimacy level. Pretend that the impulse to be with people who are just like you is a self-destructive primitive impulse. Pretend diversity is the secret to success.

84. Pretend Part III: Art Lesson

Jim and Michele talk about art as a means to connect with, and learn from, your unconscious (greater) self. Pretend there are no mistakes in art. Pretend mistakes are where your greater self is trying to break through. When you create art your greater self is unrepressed – access your greater self and accept the flow of genius.

86. Parenting and Non-violence

Jim and Michele talk about parenting ideas including their opinions on spanking and manifesting non-violence in the family.

87. Ask For Help Saga (Part IV)

Michele investigates Jim’s work on his Personal Alignment of self-awareness, and Jim describes his recent emphasis on humility.

88. Introduction to the Core System Part 1

Jim and Michele introduce the new series about the Core Commitments, a constitution for results-oriented behavior. They share their ideas on what engaged behavior is and how to achieve it as they discuss the first subsection of “Engage when present” – “Know and disclose what I want, what I think, and what I feel”.

89. Introduction to the Core System Part 2

The series on the Core Commitments continues by addressing the next two subsections of “Engage when present”: “Always seek effective help” and “Decline to offer and refuse to accept incoherent emotional transmissions”. Seeking effective help is something everyone can improve upon and strengthens relationships. It helps you build trust and become more trustworthy. When you seek effective help you come away as more powerful, more enriched. Jim and Michele also discuss incoherent emotional transmissions – how to recognize when you are behaving in a way that is incoherent and what to do about it.

90. Introduction to the Core System Part 3

Jim and Michele discuss the last two subsections of the Core Commitment “Engage when present”: “When I have or hear a better idea than the currently prevailing idea, I will immediately either i) propose it for decisive acceptance or rejection, and/or ii) explicitly seek its improvement” and “Personally support the best idea i) regardless of its source, ii) however much I hope an even better idea may later arise, and iii) when I have no superior alternative idea”.

91. Introduction to the Core System Part 4

Commitments two, three, and four of the Core Commitments are explored: “Seek to perceive more than I seek to be perceived”, “Use teams, especially when undertaking difficult tasks” and “Speak always and only when I believe it will improve the general results/effort ratio”, “Offer and accept only rational, results-oriented behavior and communication” and “Disengage from less productive situations: When I cannot keep these commitments, When it is more important that I engage elsewhere”.

92. Introduction to the Core System Part 5

Commitments seven through eleven of the Core Commitments are explored: “Do now what must be done eventually and can effectively be done now”, “Seek to move forward toward a particular goal, by biasing my behavior toward action”, “Use the Core Protocols (or better) when applicable” (with “Offer and accept timely and proper use of the Protocol Check protocol without prejudice”), “Neither harm—nor tolerate the harming of—anyone for his or her fidelity to these commitments” and “Never do anything dumb on purpose”.

93. Projected Bad Thoughts

If you are having emotional behavior that you think is driven by the belief that someone else (or a group) is thinking ill of you then consider that you might not be seeing the situation clearly. The other person’s behavior may be driven by an entirely different motivation. Jim and Michele share ideas on how you can have a productive loving life by overcoming narcissistic emotional triggers using protocols like Perfection Game and Investigate.

94. Department of Defensiveness

The new Defense Secretary fired the Army Secretary for a defensive and poor response to a serious problem. How do people fall into defensive behavior patterns? How can you reduce defensiveness in your own life? The Core Commitments and Core Protocols can help you identify when you are acting defensive and how to act with integrity.

95. Applied Topical Alignment

The goodness of an idea is not sufficient enough to get it executed. Get your team aligned around great ideas and then make it happen. Jim and Michele talk about a new team protocol that will get boss support for an idea, and that will propagate that support to the entire organization.

96. The Core and the Gifted

The Core is like a good virus delivering systemic insights. With more people running The Core, the insights exponentially grow; it is an algorithm for reaching your full potential as an individual and as part of a team. This podcast also has updates on the three-person Bootcamp Rachel Rutherford was involved in at Microsoft, and the continued results of Rachel’s Grassroots Booting efforts (see episodes 35, 36 and 37). With guest Rachel Rutherford.

97. Checking Out

Be where you want to be, not where you are supposed to be. Be there because you choose to be there. The freedom of The Core allows you to align by passion and engage in what you love. Other ideas and topics in this podcast include: fractal aspects of a block, results of a recent 11-person Bootcamp at Microsoft, and the question “what does greatness taste like”? With guest Rachel Rutherford.

98. The Head Gap

The head gap cost is the cost to the team for one person to have access to another team member’s gifts as if they were their own, and vice versa. Jim and Michele discuss how to reduce a team’s head gap cost – increasing the flow of virtues and the combination of geniuses.

99. Introduction to the Core System Part 6

The Pass Protocol is the most important of all the protocols, and is at the center of the Core System. This simple protocol ensures that your freedom of choice is not neglected at any time; there is no point at which you are not accountable for the results of your choices. The Pass Protocol helps a team achieve greatness by raising the accountability and responsibility of each team member for the decisions they make.

100. The 100th Episode

In their 100th episode Jim and Michele cover a variety of topics. Ideas about Checking In and Checking Out, maturity, awareness, presence, prioritizing, dynamic project management, and happiness are discussed.

101. Introduction to the Core System Part 7

The Check In Protocol is an interpersonal connectivity process – it is a method for each person on a team to manage emotions, presence, and their intention to support and adhere to The Core Commitments. Jim and Michele walk through Check In and provide examples and anecdotes of the protocol in use. Check In as deeply as possible; the depth of the group’s Check In translates directly to the quality of the group’s results.

102. Introduction to the Core System Part 8

If you realize you are in an inefficient meeting or in a discussion that is going nowhere you have a method of improving the situation: Check Out. The Check Out Protocol requires you to remove yourself if you are in an unproductive situation. If you, or people you are with, are not fully present or if there is someplace else that it would be better for you to be then you should Check Out and do what you need so that you can Check In again. Jim and Michele walk through the protocol and discuss some of the situations in which Checking Out should be used, and provide anecdotes of how Check Out has helped in a range of situations such as family interactions, anger management, and meeting efficiency.

103. Business 101 Part 1

Jim and Michele discuss tips for meeting more effectively. Learn how to reduce the amount of time you spend in unproductive discussion and how to have efficient meetings with measurable outcomes.

104. Maturity and Problem Awareness

Solving a problem can be categorized into four levels with the first and most basic level being the sensory level. The next level is being intellectually aware that what you sense is a problem. Third is understanding that there are multiple options for solving the problem, and the fourth level is implementing the best option. Jim and Michele talk about different types of problems, the problem solving process, and “outcome based motivation”.

105. Team Energy Management

Jim and Michele discuss a variety of topics related to energy management such as indications of energy-draining meetings, energy conservation techniques, and the idea of partnering with someone else to monitor each other’s energy.

106. The Objective Correllative

The product is the team, the team is the product – but what really defines a team at it’s most basic level, Jim and michele dicuss some Before you set out to make a great team, are you even working as a team?

107. There is an Unconscious

Jim and Michele discuss how it is common to ignore the existence and overwhelming power of the unconscious.

109. Introduction to the Core System Part 9

Jim and Michele review the Ask For Help Protocol.

110. Thinking Support

How to use a Decider-like method to get a team into alignment around a better idea that some get and some do not.

111. Business 101 Part 2: Blindspots

As a leader it is crucial that you get help with your blindspots. Jim and Michele also talk about ways to talk to a leader about his or her self-destructive tendencies.

112. Discussions with a Bootcamp Grad

Jim and Michele podcast from the first Seattle area BootLuck. They interview Ben Ellinger, a BootCamp grad who creates games at Microsoft and teaches at the Digipen Institute.

113. A For Effort

Jim and Michele talk about how our culture tends to reward pure effort. They propose a better idea; rewarding results and minimizing effort.

114. Introduction to the Core System Part 10

The Protocol Check protocol is covered.

115. Introduction to the Core System Part 11

The Intention Check protocol is covered.

116. Introduction to the Core System Part 12

Jim and Michele are back from their hiatus and continuing their series about the Core Protocols.  This one is all about Decider Protocol and how powerful it is as a tool for unanimity.

117. Culture Design (Part 1) – Culture Design

Jim and Michele talk about what Culture Design is, where it came from, how they do it, and more.

118. Culture Design (Part 2) – The Common Platform

This podcast covers how the Core System provides a common platform for designing cultures.

Jim and Michele define Culture Hacking as a subset of Culture Design and talk about the Core Protocols as a culture hack.

120. Marriage = Product

Jim and Michele discuss the benefits they have reaped from using the Team = Product paradigm in their married life.

121. Ask For Help Some More

Jim and Michele talk about how important asking for help is – as both an attitude and a practice – and the many benefits it provides to a marriage.

122. Authority Issues

Jim and Michele talk about how authority issues dominate other issues in organizations. They also talk about how negative based management trends do not address (and probably make worse) authority issues at work.

123. Effectiveness of Caring

Jim and Michele talk about the importance of caring about others, caring about what you do in your work and life, and caring about how you do it.

124. Going All the Way

Jim and Michele talk about the power of inhabiting a great marriage and their commitment to Go All The Way with each other to make their marriage as great as it can be.

125. Software Creates Culture

Jim and Michele break down the idea that software is creating cultural change

126. Too Busy is a Diagnosis

Jim & Michele explain how being too busy is a state of mind, and not a good one.

127. Going All the Way – Be an Expert in Your Partner

Marriage and relationship expert, Jim Rapson, joins Jim and Michele for the Going All the Way series.  In this first part, Rapson answers the question: What can a couple do right now to make their marriage better?

128. Going All the Way – Sex, Vulnerability, and the Willingness to See the Other Person

Jim and Michele discuss several topics related to marriage with Rapson including; the importance of being vulnerable with your partner about sex and other issues, supporting your partner when he/she is vulnerable, “attunement” of your relationship, and the ability and willingness to see other people and accept their differences.

130. Going All the Way – Dying, Living, Loving

Jim and Michele give an update on their status. Jim tells a story about a recent event that changed his life.

131. No Hurt Feelings – Update

People will go to great lengths to prevent hurt feelings. Jim and Michele explain why this is a bad idea.

132. Answers That Make Sense

Jim and Michele talk with friend and colleague, Josh Grob. Josh believes that great coaching consists of answers that make sense.

133. Through, Not Around

Go through problems, rather than around. Use long-term thinking.

134. The Emotional Terrain

Jim and Michele discuss the emotional terrain and how to navigate it.

135. Exploiting Team Information

There are great amounts of information available to your team that are likely being overlooked. Examples are emotional information or information about authority dynamics.