Today’s featured guest is Connor Gillivan; a 27 year old serial entrepreneur and published author. After founding his first company in his college dorm room buying and selling text books on Amazon.com, he grew it to over $20 million in sales with a team of over 60 people.
Connor co-founded his second company, FreeeUp, after becoming an expert at hiring and managing remote freelancers. FreeeUp now serves as an online hiring platform where business owners can quickly hire reliable, pre-vetted freelancers from around the world.
Episode Summary: Social Entrepreneur, Successful Founder & Only 27 w/ Connor Gillivan
Rabbi Lapin is known widely as America’s Rabbi. He is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and TV host. He studied in England as well as Israel and established a boat building business in Johannesburg South Africa before immigrating to the US and founding the Pacific Jewish Center in California.
In addition to writing the bestselling book, Thou Shall Prosper, Which is actually his 3rd book, he is a frequent speaker for hundreds of organizations including keynoting the Congressional Bi-Partisan opening of the 106th Congress in Washington, DC. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Jewish Press, and The Washington Times
Episode Summary: Thou Shall Prosper with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Leadership is influence. But what is influence? It is the ability to affect change, progress, productivity and improvement. Leaders need influence to get important things done. The best way to build influence through trust. But how?
Today we discuss 10 ways that you can build influence through trust by being more authentic, a giver, and emotionally connecting with your team.
Episode Summary: 10 Ways to Build Influence Through Trust
Avoid Arguments – learn how to handle shock, be patient, not impulsive
Admit mistakes – be vulnerable
Start with right tone
Tell a story – cast the vision
Give credit where credit is due – appreciate the effort
Connect emotionally – be genuinely interest in others
The Problem Solving Leader has a leadership superpower characterized by creativity, delegation, resourcefulness, strategic planning, and taking risk. How do we exercise the problem solving skill within each of us?
If problem solving is your superpower you are in good company; Jack Dorsey (CEO Twitter), Steve Jobs (Apple), Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) and Scott Adams (Dilbert Cartoons)
Episode Summary: Find the Solution – Use Your Problem Solving Superpower
Tom Schwab knows how to build an online business. Marketing, at its heart, is starting a conversation with someone who could be an ideal customer. Tom helps small business owners, entrepreneurs and soloprenuers get featured on leading podcasts their prospects are already listening to. Then he shows them how to turn listeners into customers.
Episode Summary: Play Bigger & Don’t Chase Rabbits with Tom Schwab
To be a leader you must have followers. There is no leader without at least one follower. But, leadership is more than just having followers, or a title, or a corner office. Even with all those things, you cannot be an effective leader until your team trusts you and is willing to follow your lead.
While some leaders try to enforce rules through fear and intimidation, the successful leader has followers who want to follow.
At age thirteen I took my first summer job working two hours a day in a downtown pizza shop. The type of establishment that caters to the busy profession, selling pizza by the slice, swarming from 11:30am to 1:30pm and then empty the rest of the day.
My first boss, Randy, was a skillful leader who calmly managed during the few hours of chaos; the type of leader who made everyone feel important and necessary. Daily he increased the amount of responsibilities I had, helping me grow into a contributing part of the team.
My first day I was assigned cardboard box duty, breaking down the delivery boxes for the recycling bin. During the next week, my responsibility increased to include mopping the bathrooms, and then washing the dishes. By mid-summer I was helping in the back to mix, cut and roll the dough. My most exciting assignment came near summer’s end when I had the chance to work behind the counter putting the forty-nine perfectly overlapping slices of pepperoni on the pizza.
Proud to work
I was proud to work and I felt empowered by a leader who knew his team and knew what we were each capable of. I felt important during a very busy lunch rush and Randy trusted me to get the job done. I worked for him for two summers before moving on, but not before learning the value of being a leader your team is willing to follow.
Good followers are attracted to good leaders.
If you want to be the type of leader that attracts the top talent and retains the best employees there are certain personality traits that you must develop.
8 qualities of a skillful leader
Solid, not arrogant. A skillful leader does not belittle his team. He is firm in decisions and has high expectations of excellence but is not condescending. People follow a skillful leader out of loyalty and respect not fear or intimidation.
Flexible, not weak. Leaders needs to adjust. As new ideas or opportunities are presented a change of approach may be necessary. A willingness to change when the situation warrants is not the same as being weak. Weakness is allowing your team to walk all over you and sway your course based on their desires, not what is best for the organization. Being likable is not the same as being weak, kindness has its own strength. When a follower makes a mistake, you should correct them. It is how you correct, with the spirit of improvement, making the person a better team member.
Humorous, not silly. There is no faster way to lose the respect, and ultimately the productivity, of your team than to do something inappropriate. Being approachable and having a pleasant attitude makes you relatable and likable and easy to follow. Being embarrassing, inappropriate, crude or vulgar diminishes the respect your followers have in you, undermining your leadership.
Honest, not cruel. People screw up, your followers will disappoint, it’s going to happen. And sometimes it’s going to be bad. You will have plenty of chances to sit and mentor team members on what they did wrong, work through the consequences of their actions, and create plans for moving forward. You must be firm, direct, open, and honest. This is not an opportunity to be cruel. Embarrassing a follower in front of the rest of the team or belittling them in front of a client doesn’t make you look strong, it makes you look insecure and out of control.
Delegate, don’t dump. The art of delegation is one you must learn to master. You should be delegating to your team. Your followers need the opportunities to learn new skills, they need responsibilities that will test their commitment, and they need the same chance to prove themselves as you had. Additionally, you need to delegate to free your time to focus on higher priority projects that require your involvement. But, delegation is not dumping. The difference is not the assignment but how you are assigning it. The same project can be sent down as properly delegated or improperly dumped. Proper job descriptions and clear expectations allows you to properly distribute the work to the person most capable of handling it.
Positive, but grounded. With positive thinking, everything becomes a little bit easier, not easy. Have a positive attitude that inspires your team, helping them through tough times, but don’t gloss over reality. The truth is the truth, reality is reality, and sometimes things are just going bad. Face challenges with optimism grounded in reality.
Intuitive, not knee jerk. As a leader, you sometimes must go with your gut. That instinct comes from years of facing similar situations. You developed a sixth sense for how to respond. You may not know exactly where that intuition came from but it feels This is different from hasty reactions with no foundation. Skillful leaders know when to trust their gut and when to pause for more information.
Have their back, not micromanage. As a leader, your team wants to know that you have their back. When confronted with difficult situations, lead from the front. Your followers will earn to trust that you will be there, alongside them during the tough times. This is different from constantly managing every decision that they make which results in feelings of mistrust.
Being a leader is a development process. To be the type of leader your followers will respect and follow you need to be a quality leader. Quality leaders, in turn, attract quality followers. It is a positive cycle of growth. Develop the personality of a skillful leader.
Sometimes we feel like the world is conspiring against us. We come up with exciting new ideas and begin executing only to face challenges. We want to give up, to quit. We may think we have gotten ourselves in over our heads and wonder “what was I thinking?” Does this ever happen to you?
For months, I had been preparing, studying for the LSATs (Law School Admissions Test), jumping through financial aid hoops, securing living arrangements. I made all the plans, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”. I was all looking good.
Loading my every possession into the back of an open top trailer, I hitched it to a ten-year-old GMC Jimmy and began the twelve-hour drive to my new life, San Diego CA. I had it all figured out.
It only took about forty-five minutes to unravel. The engine heat indicator shot to red and I was forced to pull to the roadside and let it cool.
Thirty minutes later I was back on the road, but only for twenty minutes before overheating again. The reality began to dawn. A twelve-hour drive at twenty minute intervals, I’d be lucky to arrive before the school session started. On the next twenty minute push a rod in the engine broke and the car was instantly totaled. In the middle of nowhere, two hours from my starting point, ten hours from my destination, my dream nearly ended.
With shoulders slumping and my head low I walked to the nearest town, used a payphone to call my dad and arranged to be picked up. I left the truck and my every possession on the side of the road and went back to my childhood home. We arrived after midnight and I was exhausted. I laid on the floor of my empty bedroom and determined law school, San Diego and all my plans were wrong. It was a sign; I wasn’t supposed to go.
Happens to All
In life, we will face with challenges, not knowing how close we are to success or the impact we can make. We can either endure or give up. This decision separates the successful from the failures.
3 Feet from Gold
In Think and Grow Rich, we learn of a man who got gold fever. He studied everything about gold mining and then selected his claim. He secured investments needed for all the equipment and start mining.
Luck Started on His Side
He quickly discovered a gold vein and became further convinced of his plan. His future was bright. But shortly the vein dried up; barely containing enough gold to repay his debts. He questioned his decision, “maybe it was a sign”, and ultimately in frustration he quit. He sold his equipment to a local junk man and returned to the city. Of course, the junk man took the equipment, went to the claim, dug a mere three additional feet and discovered a huge vein of gold with plenty of hidden wealth. The original miner quit too soon.
Sometimes You Need a Hand Up
As I lay on the floor that evening I had decided law school wasn’t for me. But thankfully I received a hand up. While I slept, my dad rented truck and arranged to have the old truck towed home. We attached the trailer and I made the journey to San Diego.
That is Life
This wasn’t the end of my challenges. At school, I couldn’t take the classes I wanted, I was denied residency and forced to pay out of state tuition and I broke my new surf board. But I also graduated, found a great job and met my terrific wife. I made memories that will never leave me.
When you make plans, get enthusiastic and set goals you will face obstacles. It is the universe’s way of testing your commitment. But when you overcome the challenges, the reward is sweet.
5 Ways to Persevere When You Want to Give Up
Look for a helping hand- a mentor, a friend or family who can help or give you encouragement.
Trust your decision- The miner had done his research, he knew his trade and he had the equipment, what he lacked was trust and commitment to that decision. When a decision is made drive through to the victory. (tweet that)
Celebrate the milestones and laugh about the obstacles- the law school journey has now become family lore. The reason we can laugh is we recognize the positive experiences, the lessons.
Small victories- when you face any challenging task, look for the small victories. They confirm you are on the right path.
Never quit- defeat is temporary and failure is only to those who quit before the reward is realized. (tweet that)
The Plaster Gold Buddha of Wat Traimit
In Bangkok Thailand sits a statue of Buddha. Officially called Phra Phuttha Maha Suwana Patimakon, it weighs 5.5 tons and is made of solid gold; the largest solid gold Buddha in the world.
The story behind the statue is far more interesting. Believed to have been created in India during the 13th century, the statue was moved to what is present day Thailand as part of the Ayutthaya kingdom. To protect it from being stolen, the statue was completely covered in plaster. It remained covered for hundreds of years and was eventually forgotten.
In 1767 Burmese invaders destroyed the Ayutthaya kingdom and the statue lay among the ruins, not attracting much attention.
In 1801, the Thai king ordered temples to be built in Bangkok and decorated with old Buddha images from the ruins around the country. Finally, in 1954, as the statue was being moved once again, the support ropes broke and the statue fell. Some of the plaster chipped off revealing the true treasure within.
Today Wat Traimit, where the solid gold Buddha sits, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok. The statue’s gold is estimated at over $250 Million dollars and is an important historical artifact.
For us, it is a reminder that sometimes we need to be dropped and chipped a little to reveal the true treasure; the treasure that existed all along within us.
The next time you think you have set out on the wrong path, as the obstacles mount, the engine heat indicators flash and the pressure to quit increases, just remember that you are three feet from gold.
Matt Moniz. Is a Freshman at Dartmouth and an alpinist, an adventurer, an advocate and an ambassador. His passion is the outdoors – which includes skiing, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and protecting the land that makes these activities possible.
In 2014, he became the 14th American and youngest climber to summit Makalu (27,285′), the 5th highest mountain in the world which he did 7 days after summiting Cho Oyu (26,906′).
Courtesy of Matt Moniz & Climb7.com
Episode Summary: A Hero Leading The Climb to Success with Matt Moniz
Matt holds the speed record for completing the 50 High Points in the 50 States, starting from the summit of Denali in Alaska to the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii in 43 days, 3 hours and 51 minutes in 2010- when he was 12.
There are 5 categories of leadership qualities that I call leadership superpowers- and guess what… you have at least one. Each of us has one leadership superpower that out shines the rest. Once you discover what yours is you can lead from your true authentic self. Your followers will relate more directly and the synergy we talked about on the bookshelf will drive productive results.
These 5 leadership superpowers are Accountability, Confidence, Problem Solving, Adaptability and Enthusiasm.
Episode Summary: Discover & Amplify Your Leadership Superpower
Do you like to get phone calls during dinner time, from strangers selling products you don’t want? Really? Me either. And yet every night around the world dinners are interrupted by ringing phones. The companies calling must be having some level of success to justify the cost right? Why would they do it if it wasn’t working?
For the past two weeks my wife and kids have been travelling and I have been holding down the fort on my own (red meat and ice cream!!). Each night when I get home from the office I immediately grab the mail from the box. I barely flip through it before adding it to the growing pile on my kitchen table (its over 5 inches high). When my wife is in town, she gets the mail. She goes through the pile and removes all the junk. By the time I see it only the important letters remain (mostly bills L). This morning, as I stared at that pile of wasted paper, I thought, “What is the point”? Does anyone ever read this stuff? It must have some value to justify the cost right?
This morning as I got up I flipped my phone to Facebook, just to check in anyone new had “liked” my latest post. 15 minutes later I realized I had seen enough cat photos and kids blowing out birthday candles to last a month. I hadn’t accomplished anything, didn’t increase in knowledge, and (honestly) wasn’t even entertained. It was kind of a waste. Why would I sit on Facebook for 15 minutes? It must have had some value or I wouldn’t have done it right?
Thankfully we do not have our tv hooked up to ESPN because I know exactly what would happen tonight when I finish work. I would head home, sit on the couch (with ice cream) and watch Sportscenter. As soon as that ended I would switch to ESPN2 and watch the replay. And before I know it, it would be 11:30 and I would know everything there is to know about the latest sport scandal. I would ask myself, “What was the point?” Obviously there must be some value or I wouldn’t do it….right?
Today at work I had a productive day. I cleared out my email box, I rewrote my to do list, I filled up my water bottle 27 times, I had a very productive social lunch with a colleague and I organized my file folder. I didn’t get everything done on my list, I ran out of time to make those sales calls and I didn’t quite finish that proposal but I feel pretty good. I got stuff done. I added value to my company didn’t I? I wouldn’t have spent so much time on those tasks if it wasn’t effective….right?
It is easy for us to say that we hate telemarketers and junk mail but do we recognize that there are things in our life that are like telemarketers and junk mail to our personal and work goals? Each of us has our own distractions and time suck traps that we are tempted to fall into and can derail us in our productivity and impede our journey of success.
To avoid telemarketers we can use caller id and not answer calls from out of state or numbers that we do not recognize. With junk mail we can ignore the letter and immediately filter it into the garbage without wasting another minute. But how do we avoid the time and energy sucks that we have in the other parts of our lives? Here are 4 ways that we can keep focus and priority and progress.
Have a plan- I recognize in my life that ESPN is a huge temptation and a rabbit hole that tempts me in. So I made the choice to disconnect my cable. I didn’t just unplug it, I put the cable box in my garage a flipped off the light. Are there things that I miss? Of course. But I have not regretted taking back control over what I am doing in my life. Do you have goals and objectives that you refuse to let fail? Do you have a plan to accomplish them? You cannot hit a target you do not have.
Reward focus- When I was training my dog to “stay” I would sit him a few feet away and I would tell him to “stay”. If he did I would smile, tell him he’s a good boy, scratch his ears and give him a biscuit. It didn’t take long for him to learn that “staying’ was a good idea. The same thing can work for you in your life. Rewarding and reinforcing positive behavior trains your brain to continue. Tell yourself that when you make these 5 sales calls you will go to the movies (or get a scoop of ice cream).
Set limits- Do you have the discipline to set limits? Can you force yourself to turn off Facebook after 15 minutes or stop scrolling through Twitter? Yeah? Me either. So I have found that I need to set stronger enforcement. Often I will set an alarm that triggers me to react or you can use one of the many webtools or apps that limit the length of time that you can stay slippery internet slopes. Another option is to remove the notifications from social media on your phone.
Reinforce your why- Maybe the most effective way to cut through the junk mail in your life is to know your why. What is the reason for you productivity? You have goals, processes and procedures but ultimately why do you want to accomplish your assignment? Knowing that overriding purpose can give you the discipline and focus to cut through the distraction and stay focused.
So, if you are calling during dinner tonight from an out of state number please understand that your call will go unanswered. And tomorrow, if you want to chat about the latest MLB melt down or scandal, know that I will probably not won’t have a clue what you are talking about. Oh, and if you need me, I’ll probably be making sales calls or eating ice cream. I hate junk mail and telemarketers.
How about you, how do you stay focused on what is truly valuable in your life? Leave your comment by clicking here.