Brad Lomenick | 3 Steps to Effective Leadership & Getting the Feedback You Need to Succeed

In today’s episode, we cover leadership with Brad Lomenick. Brad is a leadership consultant, speaker, founder of BLINC, and author of The Catalyst Leader and H3 Leadership. He writes about leadership, the next generation, creativity, innovation, social media, teamwork, and personal growth. 

Effective leadership is built on a few powerful traits anyone can learn, but what are they, what is the difference between an effective leader and an ineffective one, and what can you do to be an effective leader without being in a leadership position?

What to Listen For

  • Brad’s Journey & Strategies for Conquering Burnout – 3:34 
  • What are the different levels of burnout and what can you do if you’re feeling burnt out?
  • What can you do as a leader to encourage your team to hold you accountable for your faults and blindspots?
  • The Biggest Leadership Myths & How to Assume Leadership – 9:59 
  • What are the biggest myths about leadership?
  • What are the two types of people who want to be leaders and why is one not cut out for the role?
  • What can you do to be a leader if you are regularly jumping from one company to another?
  • What can you do to be proactive about being a leader rather than waiting to be recognized as one?
  • Ineffective vs Effective Leadership – 21:08
  • How does social media identify and highlight the ineffective leaders, placing poor examples of leadership in front of people around the world?
  • How can a leader exemplify the hustle mentality and powerful humility?
  • How do you build trust with your team when you are brand new and your team doesn’t know you?

It seems as if the loudest “leaders” get the most attention, but getting someone’s attention or drawing an audience do not make someone a leader. The most effective leaders can lead from a place of trust and humility. They get buy-in from those around them by getting to know them and building a genuine relationship. If you want to be an effective leader, you must be willing to listen to the people around you and open up to them so they can connect with you. 

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Resources from this Episode

Speaker 1: I've dug underneath the surface and figured out what's going on here. Like, is there a personality issue you just don't trust me because the last leader like throw you under the bus. Do you have some other aspirations that I need to know about? Like, you're just going to get really curious. And at some point after one conversation or two or five, now things change.

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Speaker 2: What else now? Thank you, everyone for tuning in let's kick off today's show. We're talking with Brad. [inaudible]. Brad is a leadership consultant speaker and the author of the catalyst leader in his second book, age three leadership, be humble, stay hungry and always hustle. He shares the insights that he got from two decades, working with thought leaders and helping people unlock their leadership skills. We're so excited today to debunk some myths leadership and start strengthening your skills, whether or not you are currently in a leadership position. Welcome to the show. Brad, we're so excited to chat. I want to actually talk about burnout because in your book, you actually talk about that being the Genesis of you, learning that I need to work on my leadership and potentially change some of my habits. And I know many in our audience have written us about burnout, identifying it, struggling with it. So can you just unpack a little bit about your journey through burnout and any strategies that might help our audience members who are feeling the same way?

Speaker 1: Sure. Well then there's all kinds of levels of burnout. You know, mine was not severe. I didn't like get to the place where I was morally failing or I was stealing money from the company or there was legal issue. I mean, it wasn't any of those things. I think I was just becoming toxic as a leader. You know, if, if you're wrestling with burnout, you have to figure out kind of where you are in the process. But for me, the thing that was so clear was that I was becoming the kind of leader that I despised working for. And here I am leading a leadership development organization. We're in the business of developing leaders and I'm becoming the leader that nobody wants to work for anymore. My team was still willing to follow me because as a toxic leader, I got a lot of stuff done.

Speaker 1: I just left a lot of bodies in the ditch along the way. And that's no excuse part of the reality of burnout and even getting to places of toxicity or getting to places where, you know, you're just dysfunctional, is having enough. Self-awareness to actually be able to stop and say, wait, is this happening? Like, it's almost like slapping yourself in the face. For me, that was the, from the book. There's a story of when our team was at Dave and Buster's and we got a bunch of tickets, Dave and busters, and then they, they went to the gift store and bought like these two dolls and one was a devil doll and one was an angel doll, but devil doll, they was revealed second as they gave me this gift. And I said, what is this? And they were like, that's dark. I said, well, who's dark.

Speaker 1: They said, that's your nickname. We've been calling that for like a year. And I, you know, my first response was, listen, I'll fire. Every one of you you'll think dark, but what it was, it was this moment of saying, listen, we love you. We're for you. We'll follow you. But this leader you're becoming is not the best version of you. And you know, that was just a wake up call. So sort of everyday after that, my sister Michelle would, she would put, you know, the angel doll and the devil doll on a table, outside my office. And it was like, okay, who's here today. A little less dark, you know, that's, I think for so many of us, we get to that place where we have a blind spot of being dark. You know, again, that's my nickname, Brad backwards. But for listeners, like, are people watching, are you in that place where the people on your team, they run for the Hills when that person up.

Speaker 1: And again, that's for me, like burnout for me means that I go to this toxic place where nobody wants to work. For me. Some people, they get really quiet and they go into the dark room and they watch breaking bad and drink bourbon for hours. You know, other people like, so everybody deals with it differently, but you know, you gotta be aware, you gotta be self-aware. If you're not self-aware, you're gonna have, you're gonna show up in that place and not realize you're there. And then you're going to end up like losing all the things you built, because you allowed yourself to go over the, you know, over the chasm leaders. We just, we end up, like, we ended up killing the things we, we, we build because we just get stupid. And at some point again, we have to be self-aware enough to go, listen, please protect me from myself because I know the tendencies I have.

Speaker 4: So let's talk about that process of undoing that dark, because I'm assuming it wasn't just a switch that you've flipped off and said, okay, I back to Brad and now I'm this bubbly, happy leader. So what was that process like? Coming back from that realization?

Speaker 1: There was always funny. It wasn't funny, but it was, I think it was pretty simple is everybody on my team after the dark confrontation at Dave and Buster's with the doll. Now everybody has permission to call me out when I'm being dark. Right? And this is true of any leader of any team is when you take things that used to be the things nobody talked about in public, that everybody talked about. Now you put those out into the public square to bring them from the shadows into the light. Now everybody has permission to hold you to a standard from then on, you know, whether it was the person who's my assistant or the VP or the intern. If I got into that place, the intern now felt responsible and enough courage to go, Hey, remember at Dave and Buster's and Darbin, like, you're doing that right now.

Speaker 1: My first response is I'm going to dab you in the next week because you're an intern, right? But when it gave us, is it gave us all on the team, the permission to hold each other accountable and for them to hold me accountable. And when you have that as a leader, you got to swallow some pride, but man, it's so much better because now people, again, they're for you, they're on your team. They're not trying to hide things there. They're like, I want to see you get better and get back to that leader. You were. So that was a big part of, it was just the awareness and the ability for the team to actually hold me accountable, to not get to that place again. And then there was, you know, there's other like concentric circles of family and friends and all of those levels that now the more they know, the more they're aware of the blind spots that I'm willing to talk about in my own leadership, the more they can say to me, Hey, you're, you're here again.

Speaker 1: Like, let's, let's be clear. This is not where we want to stay. And so many of us now with personality test, and we have all these tools, which are great and I'm forum, but don't allow the tools to now tell you where you can stay because the goal is we got to keep getting better. So if you say, well, listen, I mean, at the end of the day, I'm an Enneagram seven and I just like to have fun. So I don't really get any work done. You know, that's not good enough, right? Or the Enneagram three of the eight who says, listen, I'm just a hard charger. And I'm going to tell you the way it is. So the fact that you cried all afternoon after our, after our meeting, that's just the way it's going to be. That's not good enough, right? We can't stay there.

Speaker 3: I loved running into some of the other leaders that we've had on this show and, or coming on the show, John Maxwell being one of them, Kevin Cruz being another one. And speaking with those guys and putting this book together were some of the biggest myths or misconceptions around being an effective leader that maybe came up over and over again. Or that was quickly debunked.

Speaker 1: I think the biggest misconception, especially among the older leaders and I'm stereotyping, but just go with me is that you have to be in charge. You have to have the corner office, you have to have the title. You have to have the position in Simon Sinek, you know, arguably one of the most influential voices today who has basically just crushed that paradigm. But this is still true in a lot of industries where if you're not the point leader, therefore you have no ability to create change, or have an influence or make a difference. And that's just not true anymore. Especially in the reality we live in, which is we're pretty much all project generation and gig economy now anyway, and that's where the future is headed. So this is why self leading is so important because if you're not self disciplined, if you're not leading yourself, if you're not self-aware, if you're your own boss, now you guys know like if you're not willing to work hard and be disciplined, you may have the idea that you want to go launch something, but it's never going to get off the ground.

Speaker 1: And so I just think that's a big one. You know, that way I have to have a title. The other one is that I have to like, wait until a certain age again, that every 20 something I know, they both think they can change the world when they're in their twenties, which I love, but they also now fight against depression when I get to be 29 and I haven't Mark Zuckerberg it. Right. And so I'm just depressed and I'm going to go live with my parents and live in the basement and no, like, you know, allow yourself time. And then the third myth I think is that, that I have to figure out everything early in life. This is about the leadership and it's, uh, and it's just a human, human being thing. Meaning we gotta, we gotta let young leaders have way more time to actually like discover what they are supposed to do in life.

Speaker 1: The idea that we have to declare a major when we're 18, that just seems so archaic, but yet it's still, it's still in play, right. Compared to what if we gave ourself 10 or 12, 15 years to actually like experiment and say yes to things and try things. And then all of a sudden we're 32. And we finally go, you know what, by process of elimination, I now know what the sweet spot is for me, you know? And the thing that I can go do, and this is true now, guys, you know, like the average 25 year old is going to have 15 to 17 different like seasons of, of their career, where my father had one, I'm going to probably have six, seven, but the next, the next generation 15, no, 20, perhaps even 25, some are having 10 in their twenties. If we don't figure that one out, we're going to have just people who are totally schizophrenia jumping from thing to thing, without feeling like they're there in the same river banks moving in the same direction,

Speaker 3: You bring up an interesting point with, with the gig economy and how do we move forward? Because we've never had to pivot and shuffle and transition so much in our past. I it'll be interesting to see if, if our own human programming can keep up with all those pivots. You know, you mentioned about the seasons and perhaps there's a sweet spot there before we drive ourselves nuts. But we certainly see a lot of people, what, a lot of different skills who with the right processes and strategies seem to manage it quite well. I've also noticed that there's two types of people who want to be leaders. It's not to say that people who don't want to be leaders, don't find themselves there eventually, uh, leading a team. But the people who are gung ho to be leaders, you either have a people who just want to Lord over everybody. And they're the ones who want the title because they need everyone to know that they're the leader. And then there's people who are, who realize that if they're going to drive up a project home, somebody's going to have to pick up the ball and start leading everyone and, and organizing and placing that strategy to get that project over, over the finish line.

Speaker 1: This is why for me, the framework of humble, hungry, and hustle is so paramount in terms of the way I would talk about leadership and even the premise of what are the legs of the stool, you know, because you have to have hustle, but you also have to have a sense of humility. And I know a lot of leaders who it's all about them. It's a scarcity mentality. I win, you lose. So they have tons of hustle. They're willing to work hard. They're willing to red line it, but they don't have any humility there. But the premise that, you know, there there's a bigger story at play. They don't get that. The same would be true of the leader who understands humility, but does nothing, right? We have to have a calm, uh, the balance of in the combination and in the hunger is the middle part that I think connects the dots.

Speaker 1: But you know, this, this idea that just because you're in charge, you're now competent or, you know, the answer or you have, you know, you're the perfect leader. You never make a mistake. Again, going back to myths. We know that's not true. Now leaders who still will navigate with that storyline. That's when all the people, they leave the meeting and they talk behind your back. So part of the job of a great leader today is almost to the place where you are now going to say the things that everybody would say anyway, right? So if you're 30 and you're leading a team of a bunch of 50 somethings, and you know, part of your job as that leader is to say, listen, for some reason, I'm in this role. I think, I think I have some competency I'm going to lean in and I'm going to do the best job I can.

Speaker 1: But here's what I know. I know a lot of you have way more experience than I do. I know a lot of you are probably already talking about me and saying, who is this young punk that thinks they're going to lead me, right? So what I'm doing when I'm doing that is all of a sudden I'm eliminating all the things and I'm making them transparent. I'm becoming authentic, I'm creating vulnerability. I'm, um, I'm pushing for transparency. And now those people are now like for me, compared to I walk in and say, listen, I really am the best in the world. And I know what I'm talking about. And I don't care how long you've been here. Like it's my way or the highway that will still work in some places. But the majority of people I know don't want to work for that leader.

Speaker 3: I loved what you said there because, and being a leader, you're going to have to be vulnerable, good leaders, no one to be vulnerable because that's going to allow them to connect to the people that they are leading and have the people that they're leading feel good, that I'm connected to this guy. I want to help this guy. I want to be good at so that we can get this over the finish line. And what you had mentioned about the extra meetings Aja and I had said to us over the last 15 years of doing the art of charm, any time that we see anyone having the meeting after the meeting, we realize, okay, well, if those things that you can't say in front of everybody, a, you just showed, you're not a good leader. You wanted the Lord over everybody. And two, you're unable to be vulnerable to things that were going to need you to do. If you're going to be an effective leader,

Speaker 4: There's a few things that you mentioned that I want to unpack a little bit for the audience, because you talked about seasons and how our, we talked about this before our parents had fewer seasons. And, but what this economy is showing is the only way to be financially rewarded is to actually leave because companies are not paying for loyalty any longer.

Speaker 3: So the future is

Speaker 4: Jumping into new roles, new companies, pretty consistently in for you to succeed. That said, we can't wait for that title or that leadership opportunity as we're jumping in and jumping from company to company. So I want to talk a little bit about if you're not quite in that position yet, but you aspire to be a leader. You know, obviously the book talks about these 20 habits that we can use, but in your mind, from the young perspective that wants to get ahead, you know, where is that starting point for their leadership skill development. If it's not coming from the company they're in, it's not coming in. The next role,

Speaker 1: First thing is, you know, crusher now be the best expression of whatever assignment you have right now. Be the best in the world at what you're, what you're doing. I know it may not be the dream job. It's not the finish line. It, it, it's, it's painful, you know, four out of five days, but just go crush it. And I th I think that sounds good on a, you know, it looks good on a poster, but here's why that's so important is, you know, your now leads to your next, the faithfulness with which you carry out. This assignment is going to give you opportunities. Somebody will see, somebody will notice if you're good at what you do, your boss may be terrible. They may be the worst leader in the history of mankind, but somebody's going to notice you're also going to develop the things that you need.

Speaker 1: So my mindset, if I'm in that seat, if I'm 27 and I'm in a role that I just look at and go, there's nothing about this. That is, is, you know, feels like it's getting me to the next season. You know, be the best in the world at what you do start acting like you're in the role you want next. So start dressing, speaking, researching, reading, learning, like you're already in the role you want next. So if that next role is whatever that is, whether it's at that company, it's a different company. It's, you know, you want to start your own company, start acting like you're, you're there way before you ever get there, because that's, again, that's a standard that will require you way more homework. And you know, you'll start to get into some habits that you, you will notice, you start to give you life.

Speaker 1: And I think that's the thing is like, we want to be able to see that there's, there's some sense of I'm going to be able to get to the next opportunity, even though you're still in this one, here's what we can't do, that we can't just get bitter because bitterness, cynicism, those are poison. And all of a sudden now you're the victim and victim mentality is so easy to fall into. I mean, think of just the victim mentality of our culture right now, you know, everybody's on the edges, everybody's on the fringes, but my thought process has to be, my mindfulness has to be, I'm going to make my leader better. My leader is the worst leader ever, but how can I actually make my leader better? Like, how can I lead up to them? How can I start to anticipate? How can I start to, you know, to make my team better? And these are the kinds of things, again, that they will be the job promotion way before you get the job promotion. But you've got to start doing that. Now. You can't wait until you feel like, Oh, that person's watching because let's just all walk in. Like they're already watching and let's start acting like that.

Speaker 4: Obviously social media doesn't reward humility. Oh gosh. Now many of us see this, this message that a good leader is someone who is in your face and someone who has no humility, but yet it's one of the core legs in age three leadership. So when we're confronted with this message and we see people, we look up to who are not appearing humble or meek online, it doesn't really sit well with who we want to become and how we want to become a leader. What's your advice in that situation where it doesn't seem like the meek are the ones who are inheriting,

Speaker 1: Right? No. And here's the thing. Humility is not, it's not weakness. Humility. Is that the premise again, that there's a bigger story. So I would say that generosity generosity actually is, is perhaps I think the best currency in social media. I don't know if you guys would agree, but people who are generous, people who are generous through social media or through just their life, that's actually humility. Because what it's, what it's saying is that I know there's a bigger story here. Like it's not a zero sum game. And just the premise of me having an abundance mindset, that's sort of taking the best of hustle and the best of humility, and now saying, how am I going to make it about others? So I think the difference for me, between, between the leader who, who, who appropriately lives out humility and hustle, is that the idea that my hustle is for others, that's like appropriate hustle, but humility is that it's appropriate.

Speaker 1: Humility is when I say, I know that I'm really good at what I do, but I don't have to like wear the sandwich board and edit it in order to tell everyone, you know, it's the, it's the quiet, confident, but very, um, content leader who walks into the room and everybody knows it. We would not consider that person a non-humble leader. We would probably say that leaders humble, but we also wouldn't say, well, that leader doesn't get anything done. They're not that leaders, you know, they're there. Nobody knows who they are. Again, the reason I can be humble is because I'm confident. I think the opposite of humility is actually insecurity. I don't think it's arrogance. I think Eric arrogance is a by-product of insecurity. They're walking around thinking. I hope nobody finds out. And this is where this is where self-awareness comes back in. Humble leaders create congruency between the, that I don't know what I'm doing,

Speaker 5: But I'll work hard at it. And the fact that your team knows you don't know what you're doing, you know, but you're going to keep working hard at it. It's it's, it's Pat Lynch, the author of five dysfunctions and Pat talks about like the old days were, uh, never let them see you sweat, right? Old spice. And now today, the, the, the thinking is like, no, show them your pit stains. When you come in the room, like just, just show everybody, listen, check it out. Can you believe like, you know, the amount of pit I got working all the way down to my hip and, and that's, that's appropriate authenticity. It doesn't mean you're weak. Well, if anything, it shows that you have the courage just to stand there. Yeah.

Speaker 3: The front of the room with the pit stains, right? Cause the weak ones leave the room, change the shirt.

Speaker 5: And that's the difference. And it's, you're walking in now with like, you know, seven shirts on and everybody looks at you and goes, what are you doing? Like, well, I know underneath there, you're, you're, you're sweating now

Speaker 3: As an example for somebody who's so far from that, there is a David Lee Roth, the singer for van Halen in his book, crazy for me that he, he writes about how all the different ANR people would pop in on tour to see how they were doing and what was going on. And Dave made a mention that he would always look at their slacks because he didn't trust the guys who had creases in their slacks because he knew they weren't doing any work. They were just there. Their only thing they were looking at was the bottom line, the bottom number. And that's about as much work as they did. That's why they had nice creases in their slacks, but he would always hang out and talk to the ANR guys who came in were a bit disheveled because he's like, these guys are working. These guys are the ones behind the scenes who are actually putting in some sweat to know what's going on around here. I'll talk to those guys. I'm not going to talk to the guy who just wants to point at the bottom numbers here at me. I could appreciate that. And who doesn't want to see everyone around them working and only invigorates the team to put that much more effort

Speaker 5: Again, I'll use Pat Lencioni in his, his book. The advantage is a really great book for any leader. We've had him on the show. It's fantastic. Yeah, but he, you know, he talks about that. The foundation of any team is trust and trust is built by again, by, by a posture of humility that you know, I'm for you. I know you, I have empathy for you. Um, we're connected. Now you could have like moments of tension. You know, now you can fight for the best idea. The best idea wins when we know we're for each other, compared to a team and a culture built on a lack on distrust. You know, politics is a great example of, of a, of a environment that is built on distrust. So, you know, you, there, there is very little self-awareness transparency, vulnerability honesty, and that one industry, well, why it's well it's because we trade on distrust compared to a great culture and a great team. They trade on trust. The asset is trust. So now we're we're for each other. We're we're willing to share things. We're, we're willing to hold you accountable within to create feedback loops for all of us. And we, we th the idea as well, we, I just want to see you get better. I'm not trying to take your job. I just want to see you actually be the best version of the leader. You can be.

Speaker 4: I think many young leaders encounter this in their first or early on in their leadership role is a distrust. They enter the room and they might be younger than everyone they're leading. They might be less experienced and they don't have that trust yet with their team. And it starts to eat away at their own confidence and play mind games with them of how am I going to win this teammate over there 10 years, 15 years, my senior. And I'm getting a lot of negative body language and negative signals that they don't trust me. What's your advice in that situation? Because that comes up again and again, in our X-Factor accelerator group, where, Hey, I'm in this new role. I don't have buy-in. I don't have trust in this team. How do I get there?

Speaker 5: It's it's it has to start with being really personal meaning that you have to go and like, you have to become a Navy seal with that, with that team member. So if you've got a team of five people, and if you sit in the room with all five of them and go, listen, I deserve your trust. I'm a great leader. Again, I, you know, I'm in charge and, and you should trust me. They're going to look at you and go, now, now w we, but if you go to one of them personally, and you say, Hey, can we, can we have a conversation? Here's what you're going to model. You're going to model empathy, and you're going to model curiosity. So my job in that situation as the leader is to start being so curious about that person. Who's on my team that now, like I've dug underneath the surface and figured out what's going on here.

Speaker 5: Like, is there a personality issue is the last leader who was here. You just don't trust me because the last leader like throw you under the bus. Do you have some other aspirations that I need to know about? Like, you're just going to get really curious. And at some point you're going to uncover some stuff and don't try to be the expert, just get really curious and be the student and be a great listener. And at some point after one conversation or two or five, but they're not going to see you as a friend or, you know, as, as a peer or on their team, now things change, right? But so many times as leaders, we don't take the, we don't take the time to connect those dots because we think, well, I'm in charge. They need to do all the work to get to know me just the opposite. You need to do all the work in order to gain their trust. Which again, don't be the, you don't have to be the expert. So I'm walking in and I'm just curious, and I'm listening and I'm taking notes and I'm asking more questions. And all of a sudden, my curiosity will start to uncover some things that, that wouldn't have been uncovered. If I would have just sat in front of the team and said, okay, I deserve your trust. I'm in charge, right? So that, I think that's the biggest one. Get empathetic and get curious

Speaker 4: And understand their motivations, their fears, their insecurities, almost better than they understand them themselves, because everything that's happening with that lack of trust is coming from their own fear and their own insecurity. And it might've been past experience. It might be something going on in their relationship outside of work. That's the level of exploration when you understand their fears and insecurities better than they do. All of a sudden they have an ally who's got their back and not out front in the firing squad, taking shots at them where they feel.

Speaker 5: And this is where just think, just take one small segment, which I love college athletics, and I love college football. So I'm a college football nut. You know, I'm a sooner fan man, Oklahoma Sooners, boomer sooner. And here's the thing. And Riley, what does she use him as an example? Or you can throw Dabo Swinney in there. You know, Saban's still sort of an outlier at Alabama, but there's something about this new, this new era of coaches that they have way more empathy. They have way more of a job description that says I've got to get to know my players than any of the previous generation of great college or for that matter, any coach. And why is that true? Well, everybody says, Oh, they're soft. They're soft today. We need those hard nose coaches. Well, we don't know the reason that it's working and the reason all these players want to go play for these kinds of coaches. Is it because they look at it and go there for me, like there for me, they they're going to connect with me. They're going to understand me. They're going to get to know me. It's the old days of you show up here and you do it our way, or it's the highway. Well, what is the transfer portal created? It's created a highway for players to be like, I'm out, you know, and we can argue about whether that's right or wrong, but that's just the new reality.

Speaker 4: And that's the new reality in the workplace. Exactly. That team member is on the transfer portal. They're getting recruited by other coaches. If we want to follow this analogy. So you can't look at this like, Oh, they're going to stay with this company and retire. And I got them forever. They're weighing, should I stay? Should I take this off? Or what's the other opportunity? All those seasons that they have in their future are playing out in their mind is they're watching poor leadership from you. Demotivate them. Feel like they're at a disadvantage, feel unheard.

Speaker 5: This is the next level of, of a leader. I want my to trust me so much. And to understand that I'm for them so much that they're not, they're not going to try to hide that they're on LinkedIn. They're actually going to come to me and say, listen, I want you to be the first to know that I've got five job offers. Will you actually help me walk through those? Because they trust me so much. You know, I've heard a leader say this, that I know this is not going to be the only job you have, but I want it to be the best job you ever have. Right. And that's the mindset of a leader today is I know you're looking at LinkedIn. I know you're talking to other people, like I know you've got side hustles. So let me be a coach for you. Let me be a mentor. I don't want you to leave, but I know if, if you have opportunities to leave, let me help you walk through that. That's when it's fun again, that's when it's fun compared to you're the last one to know as the leader and they come in and go, by the way, I'm outta here. Good. Riddens this was, you know, this was the worst job I ever had for the last two years. That's what most of the time happens.

Speaker 4: I love that perspective. And I was at traffic and conversion summit a few years ago. And Ryan dice was on stage. And he talked about this analogy of creating a galaxy. Every single company, every leader is going to have stars, but the best leaders are the ones who are willing to let those stars go on, to create their own galaxy and to have the ability to have not only led them to accomplish great feats on your team, but to inspire them enough, to lead their own teams and their own ventures and go on and shine even without you. And I thought that was such a powerful metaphor for what I view as good leadership. I want everyone who's worked with us. Everyone who's come through our doors to succeed with us and without us in their own endeavors, that's the leadership that inspires me. And when I hear other leaders talk like that, it's not about being worried about the transfer portal or what's going on on LinkedIn or, Oh, this person's interviewing elsewhere. It's taking pride in knowing that, Hey, these people are not only committed to this cause, but they're growing, they're learning and they're ready for those next opportunities.

Speaker 5: Well, and here's, again, the reality is this. What do you need to do as a leader to make that person who gets lots of opportunities, look at their current season with you and say, I can't leave. That's when a leader has created a culture. That is, that is so tangibly positive. So tangibly productive. So, so tangibly like true and trust as the foundation, it's all those things that they go, man, this is like the dream job that I've just been offered. I'm so torn right now because I want to stay here and that's okay. Like that happens. People leave, they move on. But you want to create such a place where they really struggle with leaving, compared to if anything comes along, right. I'm outta here. That's most companies. I mean, that's most organizations, unfortunately, that's because that's a leadership issue. That's a culture issue and it's easy to blame it on. Well, that person they're disloyal. You know, these, these 20 somethings of the day, they're just jumpers. Now they're jumping because you stink as a leader.

Speaker 4: I have to call out the elephant in the room. I know our audience does from time to time, three white guys talking about leadership and many in our audience don't have that privilege of being in this position. So what do you have as advice for young leaders of different backgrounds who are struggling with building that trust or in a new leadership role where they're unlike the team there?

Speaker 5: I would say this. I mean, it goes back to some of the things before of like, how do you lead up? And if you'll make your leader better, you're, you'll get noticed. Um, in terms of just thinking and anticipating what your leader might need before they have to tell you that they need it. Here's another thing is, think about the who you're around. So this is my advice to young leaders, regardless of sort of where they are on the, on the, on the sphere, you know, your who will actually lead to your what, meaning this, that choose somebody that you can go be around and let that be the, the, the major part of the decision-making process for you. So if you're 22 or you're 25, and you're navigating like, think about the people in your life, who you admire. And if you don't have anybody, you admire, like go find some people you admire and shoot for the stars.

Speaker 5: I mean, the trueness today. And the reality is that access is way more possible than you think it is. Again, if you're, if you're in a place where you feel like you're disadvantaged, you don't have the same connections. You don't, you haven't been given the opportunities. You still have some people in your world that you might think, I don't know them, but I want to know them. Great. Write a letter to that person and say, listen, I'll come work for free. I will come and pay you to be part of your team. Can I just like be an intern? Can I give you two months of free work? Every person I know who is in a place of influence leadership, like they build things. When you ask them about their story, they will tell you there was a person or two that made a connection that they got around, that made things happen. And so degrees are important. Schools and universities are important. Your first job or two are important. But I think the, who is my, it might be the most important thing. And your first quarter or first half of your career life,

Speaker 4: Any of those opportunities for mentorship, for learning, create what you had touched on earlier, which is that external self-awareness much of leadership is dedicated internal.

Speaker 2: Self-awareness what are the skills I need? How do I need to develop emotionally? We don't often realize how we're presenting ourselves externally. And as we're working on our leadership, as you heard from your dark comment, that it took that dose of external self-awareness for you to snap out of it and become a better leader and mentors and coaches provide that clarity because many of our friends, family members and coworkers, well, they don't feel comfortable sharing what's going on externally. And that becomes a blind spot for you in, in your ability or inability to lead.

Speaker 5: Yeah. Don't ever ask, don't ever ask somebody who you pay to give you feedback. Or if you do ask them, you're going to have to ask them like 10 times, right? You're going to have to keep asking, because they're just going to give you the answer you want. And then at some point they might say, well, you know, the other day, and then here's your, here's your posture as a leader. Great. Tell me more, tell me more. You are just insatiably hungry as a great leader for feedback, because feedback is your greatest tool for self-awareness or blind spots that you might have. Most people don't ever want feedback because, because it doesn't tell them what they want to hear. And, you know, I can get that from, again, all the people around me who will just, they're going to give me the ego biscuits, whether I want them or not.

Speaker 5: Right, but, but helpful, appropriate feedback from people that I trust or people that are close to me, but now they're helping me get better. You know, that that's when that's, when a leader is, they're both, self-aware, they're content, they're humble. And you know, reality is this. We won't get better unless we have those loops and you watch people who, 20 years later again, why are they toxic? Why are they dysfunctional? Why are they the worst leader ever? Why does nobody want to work for them? It's because they, they just live in their little reality deprivation syndrome world. And nobody has the ability to give them feedback that is going to help them. All they're getting is just the echo chamber. And they just live in that little bubble and, you know, they create a chasm. And so this is why we have to have feedback loops and organizations that flow up down and across. And most of the time they only flow down. And every young leader I know is they want feedback constantly.

Speaker 3: The book about connecting with a community. And don't of course, in connecting with a community, you have to hold your ties to that community in a high regard, in order for that community to be mutually beneficial for you, to the community and the community, to you, and with all the technology we have the give up for that technology. And the use of it has been the loosening of those ties. Cause we're now they're communities that the ties that we've created now becomes so disposable because, Oh, well, if I'm going to get grief over here, I'm just going to run over to this, to this area. And I hope, and it was my hopes with the pandemic that people would have to recognize how important their ties were to, to community during this, in order to get through it. And then hopefully that we would come out of it with a higher regard for those.

Speaker 5: Well, the thing that I think we all need to probably do an analysis on of ourselves, but also an assignment for each of us is to go find people really intentionally right now, who don't look like us, who don't think like us, who don't believe like us, just put all the verbs in their dress speak. I don't do all of them. Like find somebody who is the opposite of year and, and, and reach out. And actually, again, the bridge builders are the ones who are willing to walk across the bridge, not to the middle. The middle is easy. I'm talking about, you got to go to the other side of the bridge and actually like, bring somebody back with you, you know, to the middle of the bridge. And that's hard. And that's, that's the thing none of us want to do, but that's a great leader today.

Speaker 5: So find somebody who is the opposite, who, and just go like, again, again, get curious and listen, and have a, have a sense of I'm here to learn. And to me, that's, that's the best way to create connection and community, especially right now. And leaders are the ones who have to do this. Don't wait on somebody else to be the model. And don't think too that, well, nobody's gonna notice I'm gonna, I'm in a small town in Iowa. Is it really matter that I'm a bridge builder? Yes, it actually really does because you have influence. Somebody is going to see that somebody is going to notice that person's going to talk about it. And, and this is, you know, the, the, the culmination of all those happening in all these different cities and small towns and communities across the country, we can actually move the needle. This doesn't have to be like breaking news on CNN or Fox or MSNBC or CNBC. Like you don't have to be the story, just be a local story. Be, be somebody who locally is making a difference and being a bridge builder. That's the ultimate power seat. Don't fancy it. The power seat is that you have the biggest microphone and it, you scream the loudest. The biggest power seat is the quiet listener. Just be a quiet listener.

Speaker 4: Simon Sonic actually says that exact thing. In fact, not only listening quietly and objectively hiding your feelings, your emotions, from what you're hearing, it's so difficult in practice, but best leaders

Speaker 2: Are adept at doing that. Not letting that emotion on your face and sleeve. So the other person feels judged and hurt and harmed, but actually waiting to form your opinion and not spouting it. Thank you so much for joining us, Brad, we have one last question for every guest and it's around your X factor and that's, what is that mindset or skill set that has unlocked incredible success in your life and makes you unique?

Speaker 5: I think it's the connector in me. I really do. I mean, I remember in kindergarten or first grade, but I mean all the elementary grades, but especially kindergarten, the first day of school, I got to know everybody. The second day I was doing trade deals in the cafeteria. So, you know, I probably could have been an investment banker. There's lots of things I, that, that connectors, you know, get paid to do. But I think that that's my X factor. That's my superpower. I love when I'm able to put people together and then watch what happens from there. Connection. And this is a difference for me between a connector and a networker, a networker, it's all about them. You know, you, you know, the networker cause you're like, Oh, last time they might've connected us, but, but we felt dirty. You know, the, the process was weird, but the connector connector truly is they're, they're generous and it's not about them. They watch what happens, you know, from that, from Tony, putting two people together or two organizations together, whatever it is. So for me, that's my super power. I love to, I feel like I have this orbit of, of relationships and, and, and, and people that I'm always thinking about, how do I add value to them by introducing them to each other?

Speaker 2: [inaudible] AGA I got to say that was a wonderful episode at anytime that we can hear and get more information on good leadership. I am all ears. And Brad has a great perspective. And he had talked to a lot of people that we already had on the show for his new book. So a lot of it came together for me. And I know that everyone who is listening, certainly got a lot out of it as well. I couldn't agree more. And there's nothing better than a humble leader. And, you know, Johnny and I are so big on humility and being relatable. And that's what I loved about Brad's perspective. If you ever wondered what it's like to work directly with us to bring your connections, your conversations, and your confidence to the next level. Well, check this out today. We're doing just that in our coaches corner and Michael Harold, our producer and core confidence coach has joined us.

Speaker 2: Welcome, Michael. The first question comes from Tabitha. Now last month's episode on emotional bids. We got a question. So if this episode hit you and you want to know how to take small talk deeper, and you have a question for us, head on over to the art of charm.com/questions or email us [email protected] to get your question answered a little later this month. So let's talk about these emotional bids questions we received about last month's toolbox. Now this question comes from Kate. She says, love the show. Greetings from the UK. I just listened to your cheat code and building deep relationships and being unforgettable. How do we distinguish an emotional bid to starting a conversation? Or are they the same thing? Emotional bids can be used anywhere in the conversation they can be used at the very start. And one of the best ways that I like to do that is by asking a question that I know will evoke a positive, emotional response.

Speaker 2: I E what are you excited to do now that everyone's getting vaccinated? I know the answer to that question is going to be an emotional bid. So instantly I'm starting a conversation with an emotional bit, but emotional bids might take a little time in the conversation to get there. As the other person may not feel comfortable getting vulnerable. Maybe isn't that excited to answer the question, or maybe it's just a little shy. So don't look for emotional bids around timing. They could be instantly at the start, or it might take a few questions and a little bit of conversation to get to that emotional bid. But remember the emotional bid is the moment when someone else is trying to connect with us, meaning they're divulging a bit of information. That's really important to them, either positively or negatively about themselves. And that disclosure creates the emotional bit. Well, this next question from her as a follow-up, this one's really key because many of our listeners I'm sure had this question for us. I feel like emotional bid is just being agreeable. But what if I don't agree? What if I actually don't agree with what it is that they want to do, for example, Hey, that film was so great. Let's watch it again tomorrow, but you absolutely hated the film. Do you just nod and go along?

Speaker 6: Well, here's the thing like responding positively to an emotional bid basically says if I were in your situation going through the same thing, I would feel exactly the same. Right? So, so if I can convey that, Hey, it makes total sense that you love this movie because you're into planes as well. Right? Of course you love this movie. Um, doesn't mean that I totally loved the movie as well, but the emotional bit is not that I, that I am exactly in the same spot. The emotional beat means that for me, it makes sense that you are in that spot. So

Speaker 2: The simple way to respond, if you actually didn't enjoy that film is to suggest something else that you could watch together, that you is an opportunity to receive more of those emotional bits. So let's say the movie was about airplanes, but it wasn't your favorite movie. Clearly the other person really enjoyed it and they say, Hey, let's watch it again. I am so happy that you love that movie. I know how much you love airplanes. Let's check out this other movie or this Netflix special on airplanes is just as powerful in terms of an emotional bid, even though you didn't necessarily agree with that because you recognize the emotional bid they shared with you. You allowed them to feel validated for sharing that that was their favorite movie. And you suggested something that would create more opportunity. Time spent together for you to enjoy each other's company.

Speaker 2: So it's not just about being agreeable. In fact, there oftentimes where I don't agree when an emotional bit has been shared with me, it's simply validating the emotions that the other person shared and allowing them to feel heard. This question was one that also comes up quite a bit in class. Can someone make too many emotional bids or is just this a reflection on your relationship? Sometimes I feel like I can't turn towards all the emotional bids. I E I'm in a rush to go out. And is it better to say you'll come back to it later. Any info on this would be appreciated. Thanks, Kate. Wow.

Speaker 6: That is a quality question. Like there's so many emotional bits coming my way. I can't respond to all of them. Uh, we don't get that very, very often. So this is already a quality problem. Now I will say, I will say this first of all, thanks for the amazing questions. This is really, this is really fantastic. And second, um, reacting to an emotional bid doesn't mean that you need to get into a 30 minute conversation, watch a movie, go on a trip or write an essay. This could be, this could be as much as saying, Whoa, glad you like it. That that could be it right. If I, if I tell you, Hey, Hey Jay, before you go, I really love my cup of coffee here. Like, I don't need a Jay to show me pictures of Honduras, where he bought the coffee beans. Right? All I need him to say is, man, I'm glad you like it. I'll see you I'll see you for the next meeting. And that's it. Meet them, meet them with the emotional bit. And that's all they want.

Speaker 2: And it's not a timing thing. I've revisited emotional bids when I've actually had the time. So maybe I was running out cause puppers really had to go on a walk and Amy had shared something about work. I'm going to remember that. And when I come back home, I'm going to say, Hey Amy, you mentioned something that your boss said to you. That was really frustrating. What was that? That's just as powerful. So it's not that it has to be timed perfectly. And you have to always be responsive in that exact moment, but realize that emotional bids are important to the other person and handle them with care and simply being thoughtful and responding to those emotional bids. When you have the time is far more impactful than ignoring those emotional bids, which we covered in that great questions by Kate. If you have questions around small talk or emotional bids, we want to hear that.

Speaker 2: And that's why we're answering questions on this exact podcast. So [email protected] submit them or find us on social media at the art of charm, send us a DM. We're happy to help. We want to make your conversations amazing. And of course create amazing, incredible connections in your life. If you have a question you want us to answer on the show, go to the art of charm.com/questions or email [email protected] You can also find us on social media at the art of charm on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and send us your question there. We're excited to hear from you this week,

Speaker 3: Shout out to our buddy Isaac from our X-Factor accelerator who spilled the beans and he's recently guidance engaged. And I know what an a crazy movie moment that can be an AIG. You have firsthand experience with doing the whole kneel down and present the ring. So Isaac, congratulations. I'm really excited for you.

Speaker 2: I'm so proud of Isaac for stepping up in that moment and hearing the ultimate. Yes, we're really proud of you brother. And all of our X factor members hidden inside of you is the potential to build your dream life and extraordinary career relationships and lifestyle. Now you just need a way to unlock it because

Speaker 3: Face it, you deserve more than unsatisfying work. Lackluster relationships are boring nights and weekends. It's time to unleash your inner soup.

Speaker 2: Join Isaac and us in our X factor accelerator and get mentorship from me and Johnny for an entire year from promotions and raises to engagements. We're so proud of all of our X-Factor accelerator members. We can't wait for you to join us, head over, to unlock your X-Factor dot com to apply today. That's unlock your X factor.com before we go, could you do us and the entire art of charm team, a huge favor head on over to Apple podcast, rate this show, leave a review, Johnny and I love hearing from you our audience. And of course it helps us bring on amazing guests. The art of charm podcast is produced by Michael Harold and Eric Montgomery. I hope everyone has an incredible week I'm AIJ and I'm Johnny take care.

Speaker 7: [inaudible] [inaudible].

Check in with AJ and Johnny!

AJ Harbinger - author of 1152 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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