Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
115: Unlocking the MacGyver Secret with Lee Zlotoff

115: Unlocking the MacGyver Secret with Lee Zlotoff

Remember MacGyver, the ingenious action-adventure hero from the 80’s who was able to do things like disarm bombs with a toothpick, swiss army knife and duct tape? MacGyver was a huge influence on me as a kid and his creator, Lee Zlotoff, joins me today to discuss the genesis of MacGyver, as well as the MacGyver secret—a simple process that can help you solve your toughest problems, because who wouldn’t want an inner MacGyver solving problems for them. Ready? Let’s do this!

Key Takeaways:

[1:00] Charlie introduces Mr. Zlotoff and his impressive television and film career as well as his philanthropic endeavours.

[2:54] MacGyver was imagined in opposition to a lot of his contemporaries — what if our guy had no gun, no gadgets, nothing!

[6:45] Mr. Zlotoff goes over his ongoing mission to bring MacGyver back through a television series and film but also in the form of The MacGyver Secret.

[8:50] The method covers management tools taken from MacGyver: avoid conflict, turn what you have into what you need and do it all with humour and humility.

[10:48] The issues coming up during this century are unlike any other concerns that humankind has faced before, the need for ingenuity is great.

[12:20] If MacGyver were recreated today, Lee would first make him a woman, then he would integrate her to the new technological context and finally, add a sense of global consciousness.

[14:46] The MacGyver Secret came about when Lee realised his best creative insight came out during specific routine activities, and he set out recreating the mental condition for this subconscious or “inner MacGyver” to appear.

[18:04] Everybody has an inner MacGyver and the method teaches you the three steps required to access that part of you in a reliable manner.

[19:44] Step one, write your question or problem down in longhand and pass it on to your inner MacGyver -- read it to yourself.

[20:29] Step two is to go on with your day! Let your inner MacGyver incubate the problem.

[22:01] Finally, after a few hours, start writing anything at all, and within 30 to 45 seconds the answers will flow from the tip of your pen.

[23:18] Activities that prevent the incubation process: watching television, reading, conversation (in any form—email, text, etc.), and playing high action video games.

[26:16] We are completely overloaded by information in this day and age and most of it will inhibit the incubation: you need a slightly physical, unimaginative task.

[29:04] The trickiest part is trusting that you do have an inner MacGyver and that it can give you answers!

[31:15] This method will work differently for personal emotional problems — mostly because you will need to ask more than once and the answers will take a little longer to come.

[33:50] This part of your mind will never shut down, it is a constant and is processing your daily experiences. Opening dialogue with that part of you will vastly enrich your creative and problem solving toolset.

[37:26] Lee Zlotoff’s closing challenge: start with the understanding that you have enormous resources at your disposal, you simply need to learn to open a dialogue with yourself.

Mentioned in This Episode:

The MacGyver Secret

MacGyver Global

Creative Giant Campfire Facebook Group

Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing (formerly the Creative Giant Show) explores how to do the work that matters to become your best self in the world. Host Charlie Gilkey and occasional co-host Angela Wheeler take listeners on a deep dive into the lives of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are thriving in life and business by doing work that matters. Listen in to see how they cultivate meaning, success, and happiness as well as their approach to productivity, business, health, and the challenges (yes, even the deep, dark ones) that show up in their lives.