Published DateAuthorDan Sullivan and Shannon Waller
The potential of ChatGPT is becoming more and more apparent, so how can entrepreneurs take advantage of the technology? In this episode, business coach Dan Sullivan and team strategist Shannon Waller discuss how ChatGPT can best be used by entrepreneurs seeking business growth.
Here's some of what you'll learn in this episode:
The only time Dan gets involved with using a new technology.
Why Dan always has another person between him and the technology.
How Dan plans to use ChatGPT through teamwork.
In what way the technology world currently resembles Las Vegas.
Why there will be a wider gap between people who are really good and people who are mediocre.
Why entrepreneurs will generally benefit from this, while bureaucrats will likely separate themselves from it.
AI is only useful if it leads to more productive and profitable teamwork.
Teamwork is your number-one multiplier.
You can treat this new technology the same way you do a useful, talented human collaborator.
One definition of technology is automated teamwork.
Humans are terrible information processors because we change the message rather than passing it on verbatim.
ChatGPT is entirely dependent on an existing knowledge base.
ChatGPT’s knowledge base includes all of the biases that are already within society.
A lot of people are going to bet money on the possibilities of this new AI capability.
People who don’t want to think for a living are going to have their pay taken away from them.
There’s no sense yet how ChatGPT makes things more productive and profitable.
Shannon Waller: Hi, Shannon Waller here and welcome to Inside Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan. Dan, we have been having a lot of conversations, particularly at the Free Zone Summit with regard to AI, Artificial Intelligence, and very specifically about ChatGPT. And what was really epic at the Free Zone Summit is how you put together a panel of five of our clients who are very knowledgeable in different aspects of AI. What I want to talk about today is how it relates to teamwork. One of the things I took away was being able to ask it really good questions, something else that you're superb at. So let's dive into this AI, ChatGPT, teamwork, and how you see things shifting as a result of this brand new exponential technology.
Dan Sullivan: My own take on it, and first of all, I have a rule regarding all new technology, and that goes back for my entire entrepreneurial career, is that I personally never get involved in the technology except where it's been made extraordinarily easy. So I have a rule that I always keep a smart, talented human being between myself and the technology, and they're kind of passionate about the technology. And that I just do teamwork with them and what they're mastering can be useful to what I'm already doing. So right off the bat, ChatGPT is not going to be something that I use directly. But I think more and more, I'm going to be surrounded by team members, that's Strategic Coach and experts from the outside, who I'll say, well, I want to be able to do this, and they'll create a new capability for me, which I won't do, but it's just that it expands.
It's like Zoom, I never got involved in Zoom or anything until all I had to do is click twice, three times, and I'm in the meeting. And I don't manage the meetings, I don't record the meetings, I don't edit the meetings or anything like that. I just have to log in. That's all I really have to do and just talk like I normally talk and when it's finished, I leave. And if there's work to be done afterwards, somebody does the work. So that's my basic approach. So in a certain sense, this is no different than my approach to any other new technology, whether it's personal computers or whether it's fax machines, or whether it's the internet or whether it's software programs or whether it's email. There's all this stuff.
For the most part, I really don't do that much more different type of activity in the 2020s that I did in the 1980s. So that's my basic attitude. Having said that, I think that used rightly, ChatGPT and other AI—and AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, so this is not human intelligence, this is Artificial Intelligence—and it's only useful if it leads to more productive and profitable teamwork.
Shannon Waller: Productive and profitable teamwork.
Dan Sullivan: In other words, you take the teamwork that you already have established, which is your number one multiplier, this is human teamwork. And remember, I'm not involved with the technology, so the only way I can be benefiting from the technology is through my teamwork with other people who are interacting with the technology. Already, there's hundreds and hundreds of apps. I mean, ChatGPT is kind of a big app, but there's lots of other apps, and I'm not going to know what all these other apps are. I'm simply saying, we want to be able to do this and this—this project that's going to be more productive and that's going to be more profitable for us. So what's available in the area of technology that will enhance our teamwork that gets us to this bigger and better result. So I would say my general approach—I was born before television was widely available.
I was born before dial telephones were available. So I've been through a lot of world-changing technological breakthroughs in my life. So if it's world-changing in the way it's being promised to do, my team will know about it. And lots of our entrepreneurs will know about it. And what I did, I knew these five entrepreneurs were running ahead with it. I said, so, let's put them on a panel and have them each talk about the specific gains that they're getting from it. And pretty soon, all of our clients in recorded video form will know what the panel said. And I didn't have to investigate or discover or anything else, I just made use of... So those are my “Whos,” and I think that I treat this type of technology in the same way as I do a useful talented human being who can do so much better, something that I can. Now, if that who also equips themselves with a technological Who, which expands their usefulness to me, then I'm gangbusters. I'm all for it.
Shannon Waller: One of the things I've always loved is your definition of technology as being automated teamwork. So really great tech already has potential exponential impact on teamwork, which is really fun. And that's where I get excited about these because obviously there's ChatGPT, then if you're a ChatGPT writer, you can add that onto your Gmail. There's copy AI, there's niches, all the ones that our clients have been telling us about. And it's just great because I think it really does take away some of the inefficiencies in our book. You're not a computer, Dan. You talk about the fact we're really not great information processors.
Dan Sullivan: Humans are terrible because we changed the message. I mean, if you give information, we either didn't get it or didn't understand it correctly or add something or subtract something or anything, it never comes through clean. I mean, when you give humans a piece of information, it's distorted the first time they tell somebody else.
Shannon Waller: It's definitely a broken telephone. But we are brilliant at being meaning makers. And I think when you are able to combine—I'm going to talk about questions in just a minute—we are able to combine our thinking. What are we up to? Which everyone will be really clear. This is not something that any kind of technology can come up with, they can't come up with the idea. But then be able to play with it. It's just, I'm excited because to me, it looks like a lot of things got simpler and easier, and we can do them faster with a bigger result. So I think it will be a really big leverage point for team members for the ones that embrace it.
Dan Sullivan: And you have to understand with ChatGPT, it's entirely depending upon an existing knowledge base, which is, for my brief examination of what people are creating with it, is that it's culturally biased, it's politically biased. And all the biases that are already in society, they reside in the knowledge base that it's using. And the other thing is that they've got protections. They build in protections that you can't ask about certain things and it won't respond to you and everything else. But within a matter of two months, ChatGPT, in the hands of Microsoft anyway, who are big investors, Microsoft are big investors in $11 billion. Because they have a search engine, Bing, which competes with Google, and they wanted to build this in. And Google simply hasn't released their own version of this yet. And Bing, which has never been a go-to search engine for anybody that I know, certainly, I mean, I use Google, but I'm aware that Google is totally politically biased. The people who control Google on election day don't vote the same way I vote. And I mean, I'm aware of it because most of society that I live in, which is big cities, the people don't vote and their cultural beliefs are not mine, their value system isn't my values. But I'm aware of it, and I noticed that ChatGPT just immediately provides answers that make sure they fit in with a certain political and cultural basis. So you just have to understand that right up front. But two hackers immediately got in and they created workarounds so that even their prohibitions and the editing, they just showed you how you can ask them anything. And it'll be slanderous and it'll be racist, it'll be sexist and everything else because that's the good stuff. People love that stuff.
But it's kind of general and it's well written, first of all. And it's answering a problem that's arisen in society over, I would say the last 40 years. Especially at 40 years, is that people don't know how to write as well. They don't know how to spell as well, they don't know grammar as well. They really can't communicate in written language as well as we could in the 1950s. Now, my grasp of grammar and vocabulary and everything is vastly bigger than team members who are in their 20s. They think that the sentence me and so and so are going there, actually sounds good. I know people who have almost impeccable grammar, but they'll start a sentence with me. No, it's I and the other person, it's not me. Now-
Shannon Waller: And put the other person's name first. That's actually a plague.
Dan Sullivan: That's not a law of physics. But if you do it in any situation that counts, you just got canceled by the people. They don't know they got canceled. They don't know the doors that closed and they'll never be invited in. But I mean, it's like you have a suit and you're wearing athletic socks, you're wearing white socks. Nobody will correct you on it. But there's appropriateness that people have a very weak sense of appropriateness because you're supposed to be kind of yourself today. Well, most people who are really novel and everything like that, actually don't know who they are. So the other thing about this, Shannon, this will be my last thing then I'm going to let you talk, is that you have to understand that the technology world now resembles Las Vegas. And what I mean is, most of the money is made betting on the bet.
It's not made on creating something new. It's not creating something that's more valuable. It's that you can raise a lot of money really fast for something new, and if you get in early, you can make a ton of money. And then you get out before it's discovered that it's not very valuable, it's not the new big thing. But right now, it's the new big thing and there's going to be billions of dollars. And you can make a lot of money by betting on the bet, but you're not betting on some significant new capability. You're betting on the bet, but a lot of people are going to bet on this possibility of this new capability.
Shannon Waller: So do you think it still has to be proven?
Dan Sullivan: Oh, yeah. There's no sense of how this makes things more productive or profitable. But I think it is going to make people work harder and longer.
Shannon Waller: Oh, that's interesting. I'm kind of hoping it does the opposite.
Dan Sullivan: I mean, people say it's going to save time, and as a result, people now knowing you can do in one hour what you used to charge for 10 hours, you're going to have to work a lot harder to get the $10.
Shannon Waller: Right. People are going to expect a lot more.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah.
Shannon Waller: It certainly adds, it'll be interesting to see how much it actually leverages human creativity, human capabilities. So Dan, just before we wrap up this topic, which I'm sure we'll be talking about again in the future too, one of the key things that came out of our panel discussion. One is, get your team savvy and knowledgeable about it or make sure that they're aware. But the other one was the ability to ask the right prompts. And it made me think of when Google first came out, however many years ago now, like learning how to search. There are good ways to search and some less effective ways to search. And I had that same sense. Knowing what to put in, for instance, ChatGPT or anything else, is really a critical skill that all of us are going to have to... Those interacting with it, let me put it that way. To know how to ask the questions to get the useful answers out of that. And you, major friend, are an expert at asking questions. So what are your thoughts on that? And that was a fun part of our panel discussions.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, I mean, it's going to take whoever you are and multiply you either for bad or for good. If you're unproductive, it's going to make you 10 times more unproductive. If you're distractable, it's going to make you 10 times more distractable. If you're clueless, it'll make you 10 times more clueless, sometimes more. So my feeling is that it's going to again, create a wider gap between people who are really good and people who are mediocre. And a lot of people get paid really good income for being mediocre because they're the only ones who can do something. And I think that this will deplete their numbers. I think students who are really smart, ask really good questions, are good with technology, will just now ace every examination.
I mean, their papers will be perfectly written, they'll be structured, they'll be interesting, and the academic world won't be able to deal with it. So my feeling is that there's some activities which cost a lot of money, which are essentially worthless. But that happens with all technology. Technology wipes out worthless activities that are making way too much money, especially I think healthcare. And you'll see some major hits in healthcare because those are the two industries, the only two industries where technology has made them cheaper.
Shannon Waller: Good point.
Dan Sullivan: If anything, technology has made healthcare and education more expensive. That means there's a lot of worthless activity that's being highly paid for. And I think the main impact is a general destruction of bureaucratic, repetitive work where there's no originality, there's no creativity. But that's been true generally about technology forever. This is just another stage.
Shannon Waller: Well, Dan, you wrote about that in The Great Crossover, the very first book I assisted you with many years ago. And that's what you talked about, it dismantles bureaucracies. It takes out that boring, repetitive work. And so, I think that is something to be alert to, is that's the stuff that you can apply the technology to, but really leave it open for every other form of creativity. If it frees us up to ask those more interesting questions, I'm intrigued to see what that turns out.
Dan Sullivan: Well, I think first of all, there are will be a whole new dimension of our tech team inside of Strategic. Within a year, we'll have five or six of our tech team who can help anyone else in the company how to get value from ChatGPT, without that person necessarily needing to involve themselves in. And I think there's a whole number of our clients who are deep into this, who will be creating really great workshop programs and really great online programs. Nick Sonnenberg, Evan Ryan, Mike Koenigs, Lior Weinstein, David Mirabito.
Shannon Waller: Lee Richter.
Dan Sullivan: And Lee Richter, and all these people, their value to our team will just go up. It's all entrepreneurial. So entrepreneurs generally will benefit from this and bureaucrats will generally suffer from this.
Shannon Waller: Well, that was true with the advent of the microchip. And it will also be true with ChatGPT.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. People who don't want to think for a living are going to have their pay taken away from them.
Shannon Waller: Interesting, Dan. So if you want to be on the right side of this, what are some actions to take that you see—I love you talking about our team and what's going to happen, what our clients are going to do—but if someone is sort of hearing about this but haven't really dove in yet, what would be your coaching for them in terms of taking action?
Dan Sullivan: Well, first of all, I always look at it, what kind of capability would I like to have access, whereas somebody else does it. So that's my first disqualifier because no matter how valuable it is, I'm not going to do it. So it's Who Not How, we have a structure and a concept in Coach called Who Not How. I want to achieve this goal, but I don't want to do the Hows to achieve the goal. I want other people who are Whos can actually do that. And what are the AI Whos, now that my Whos can get better at achieving my goals?
Shannon Waller: That's so simple. I love it.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, I'm good at what I do. I constantly create new stuff. Any time spent away from me not creating new stuff is a misuse of a valuable company resource.
Shannon Waller: I love it. And empowering your team to also go get really skilled at those things.
Dan Sullivan: And look, I was almost in my 40s before the personal computer came along. I mean, it's still adjustment to me. So it's people who are in their teens and 20s that, I mean, this is going to become like walking for them. There's a generational benefit. One of the people who I think in our Strategic Coach Program is 50 years younger than I am. Everything I'll ever want to do, he knows how to do it. He knows how to find out about it. Why would I spend a minute of my time doing an activity that would be onerous for me when I can just tell him what's on my mind?
Shannon Waller: Dan, it reminds me of your four key characteristics: being alert, curious, responsive, and resourceful. This is just a new resource that we can use to expand our capability, but I love your rule of always having a smart, engaged human between you and the technology to make sure that you stay in your Unique Ability and create the value that you need to. So it's going to have all the wins and all the benefits with none of the detriments.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, I mean, it was like, the computer wouldn't have gone anywhere without graphic user interface. There was no way I was ever going to learn computer codes. So people said, you have to learn these instructions or you're just going to be left behind. And then Apple was the first and then Windows was the second. Then all of a sudden, the interface between humans and personal computers was handled because everybody can click.
Shannon Waller: Exactly. It could be much more intuitive.
Dan Sullivan: So AI, there has to be an interface that's as simple as graphic user interface to do it. I just went on OpenAI and I went to it and I was about halfway through the process and I said, "This is a waste of my time. I don't have to do this." And it clearly wasn't geared for me, and I sensed that I'm not welcome. I think right off the bat, the users, the first million in three days, 90% of them were Americans, 90% of them were male, and probably 90% of them were living in their mother's basement.
Shannon Waller: [Laughs] Okay. It'd be really interesting, Dan, I'm sure this will not be our last conversation about ChatGPT or AI. It'd be really interesting to see how it progresses. I'm curious. I think we're at the beginning of something that could be quite big. I'm intrigued.
Dan Sullivan: Oh, yeah. But I mean the internet was a really big thing. The iPhone was a really big thing. This is another really big thing, but I'm not operating any differently today than I was before the internet, before mobile phones, before search engines. I'm not operating any differently because I'm involved in thinking about my thinking and showing other people how to think about their thinking. And you can't get that from ChatGPT.
Shannon Waller: Let's just end on that note, that was killer. [Laughs]