What does it take to be a great leader? Dr. Jim Afremow and Phil White take you inside the minds of some of the greatest leaders in history and discover how they prepare, perform, and prevail
There are already hundreds of leadership experts (preaching almost the same ideas) out there, but Dr. Jim Afremow and Phil White prove that there’s more to learn— and that’s exactly what we delve into in this episode!
Dr. Jim Afremow is a sought-after mental skills coach, licensed professional counselor, and author of “The Champion’s Mind.” He was the sports psychologist for Arizona State University for 10 years and also served as the peak performance coordinator for the San Francisco Giants.
Meanwhile, Phil White is an Emmy-nominated writer and co-host of the Basketball Strong Podcast with Tim DiFrancesco and Champion Conversations Podcast with Jim Afremow.
Jim and Phil are the authors of “The Leader’s Mind: How Great Leaders Prepare, Perform, and Prevail.”
If you’re looking for a way to become a better leader, Jim and Phil have got you covered.
Listen in as we go inside the minds of the great leaders in history, the questions you should ask yourself to become a great leader, and— once and for all— the answer to the question: are leaders born or made? We’ll cover all that and more, so don’t miss it!
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] Jim Afremow: One of the most important questions or if not, the most important question for leaders to ask themselves is, you know, on their way to work that day, what I want to work for me, you know, what I want to play for me, you know, am I in a good state of mind and mood that, you know, and setting the right tone for people to be around.
[00:19] And so they could bring out the best in the.
[00:23] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Welcome to another episode of success through failure. This is your host, Jim Harshaw, Jr. And today I bring you Dr. Jim and Phil white. You listen to podcasts, read books, follow the experts on social media, and you find yourself getting mediocre results in your business, in your health and your relationships.
[00:43] You're not living up to your full potential. You've not broken through the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. And if you continue on this path, there are consequences. If nothing changes. Imagine looking back in 20 years with regret and thinking, what if, like, what if I could have found a way to unlock my true potential?
[01:00] Like how would that. The different, well, you can unlock your true potential. I'm hosting our second annual retreat May 13th through 15th, titled moving to mastery. We're going to take all the book knowledge that you've learned and all of the life experiences that you've lived in, turn it into results.
[01:19] It's going to be an intense weekend of deep learning and powerful immersive experiences. That don't stop when you leave, but actually include an additional 30 days of growth. Following the retreat. We've reserved a private lodge and event center, all to ourselves located on 330 acres, just outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
[01:40] It's an hour and a half drive from two major airports, Dallas and BWI. So it's easy access for. Anywhere in the United States or Canada space is limited. So if you're interested in self-mastery and finally getting the results, you know, you're capable of reach out to me as soon as possible to apply. Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/RETREAT.
[02:02] It's time for you to move to mass. These guys are the authors of a book titled the leaders mind, how great leaders prepare, perform, and prevail. I've been following Jim for years and been trying to get them on the podcast. Finally pulled it off. This guy is amazing. He's worked with some of the. Athletes in the country and in the world, he's been the sports psychologist at Arizona state university.
[02:31] He was the peak performance coordinator for the San Francisco giants. And the list goes on and on. I won't belabor that, but just trust me, Jim is a world leading expert and Phil white it himself. He is in coauthor, Emmy nominated writer. He coauthored this book and several others. These guys have multiple.
[02:50] Is that they've written individually and with others and they put their heads together for this incredible book that I had a chance to read before the interview. And they really reveal some new things about leadership and different ways to think about it. And they also give us some great questions to ask them.
[03:08] The productive pause to use in your productive pause. And if you're a longtime listener, you know what that is. If you're not, I talk about the productive pause in this episode, kind of share what exactly that is. Now you're going to hear two voices. Okay. So Jim has the American regular accent. When I say regular, regular to me, to us Americans listening, and Phil has the British accent.
[03:28] So you'll hear both of those voices. So I don't want to belabor the point here. Let's just go and get right into it with my interview with Jim and Phil. There are so many leadership books in the world. Why write
[03:42] another one? Yeah. It's such a great question. And you know, there, aren't a lot of topics that we could probably put on the table that are as important or more important than leadership and great leadership, you know, seems at least to me and fill that it's.
[03:57] Short supply these days, unfortunately. And you know, we know more people are leaving their jobs than ever before because of bad bosses. We also know that more people are disengaged at work. I think I read a study that the number was about 50% of the time. We're not really focused when we're at work.
[04:13] We're stressed out. We're not happy. We don't feel connected to our boss, to our. And so I think we really need to do a much better job in terms of leadership. The other thing too is you don't need, as we've all heard, you don't need a title to be a leader. And so I think a lot of us forget that we are actually leaders in different ways and, you know, shapes and forms, whether, you know, at home or in our community or on our team, or, you know, at school or at work.
[04:39] And so. I think we need to embrace leadership, look for opportunities for leadership, especially at young ages as well. We think of leadership as an older kind of person deal, but I think it's really important for young people to think about as well. What do you think about
[04:54] Phil White: that, Phil? Absolutely. Jim and I think another thing is we see a lot in leadership books of coaches wanting to coach coaches.
[05:02] And so. They start putting these principles down that they may or may not have lived or experienced themselves. The antidote to that is books like Jocko and Leafs, extreme ownership, which is fantastic. And it is a great example of principle driven leadership. There's been battle tested literally in the fire of combat in this case.
[05:24] So I think the reason for choosing the format that we did that every chapter is essentially a long case study with just one or two exceptions and really what we wanted to do with. Do our research and ask interesting questions, but also open-ended ones. So instead of us having a hypothesis for each person's leadership style and then trying to cram sound bites into that, to make it fit, which is what a freshman in high school might do before they learn how to cite sources properly and you know, how to weight bias and this kind of thing.
[05:59] We really wanted to put the focus much like this interview on the interviewee. And have them tell us what they think leadership is, what it's not bad leaders who they've had, why they were bad. And also tell you no to the topic of your podcast, trials and tribulations that don't fit. You know, we hear these stories about Elon Musk and about mark Zuckerberg.
[06:21] And of course they had to go through the fire too, but often it gets sanitized and all we see is this. Hero startup founder myth. And so what, what is it really like in the trenches of leadership? And that's one of the reasons that we chose, you know, a fighter pilot turned Southwest airlines, pilot. We chose a firefighter.
[06:41] We chose Steve Kerr, Daniel a Betsky, all these different folks who on the surface seem to have no commonalities to give a broad range of experience. In the words of the people themselves and for us ready to get the heck out of the way and just ask leaders what leadership is all
[06:58] about. Yeah. And what I would add to that is that, you know, kind of also who you are is how you lead.
[07:04] And so we really pair inside the, you know, the heads of these people in terms of. You know what works for them, what doesn't work for them? You know, a lot of books out there, they talk about leadership as almost like it, you know, it takes place in a vacuum as if it really doesn't exist. And so, you know, but leadership is really about being on a team, being part of a group and bringing people.
[07:27] To somewhere, you know, someplace better. And so really getting to understand how these individuals that we feature in the book were able to do that I think is really powerful and stories are the magic of life. So I think that the stories in the book are also memorable and then it gives us targets. It gives us role models.
[07:44] You know, people that we want to emulate instead of kind of going through the leadership wilderness, you know, kind of trying to brave it on our own to have some targets in terms of, you know yeah. In this situation, I want to be like this leader or that
[07:57] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: are there some favorite stories from the book?
[07:59] There are so many that I have that are favorites. Were there any stories that you feel sort of really encaptured. What it means to be a leader, what it means to be a good leader. I mean, there, there are stories, like you said, from, from firefighters to fighter pilots, do you know business and sports, but what are some of your favorites?
[08:16] Phil White: I think that the story of Daniel Lubetsky is pretty fascinating and unfortunately we didn't get direct access to him. This is him and Steve Kerr the same way, because they're so high profile. And of course they get so many interview requests. If you're a recurring guest judge on shark tank and you're leading a billion dollar plus company, of course you get probably hundreds of requests a month.
[08:37] So that made us really dive into the research though, which was interesting. And from Daniel's own book and other interviews, we were able to piece together his story. And really just the fact that, you know, some of his family members were killed in the Holocaust and then, you know, some survived. And that was how really his coming to America story was really a classic almost to raise you alga type story.
[09:02] But in the flesh and from the beginning, Kleinbar really came out of the fact that. Even in the darkest situations, in this case, the Holocaust, you know, a light can still shine and the human spirit can still endure and, you know, kind is not a company that is one of these that, you know, and, and not to be cynical, but now it seems that everyone's doing 1% for the planet or, you know, likes to give interviews about how they give back to the community and this kind of thing.
[09:31] And a lot of the time it probably is genuine, but I also think. Sometimes that's kind of an add on, whereas for a company like kind coming into it with Daniel, a Betsky his background and his compassion and his humanity and his deep knowledge of his family's story. The very foundation of every company he's ever founded is built on values, principles giving back and in this case with kind on kindness.
[09:59] And so I think that, um, just the story of him traipsing around the city with a briefcase full of. Mediterranean spreads for a company that still exists and getting told no a lot, you know, by stores going down the street to the next door, just trying to get even a little bit of shelf space. And the story with that particular company was that he was able to bring together.
[10:20] Christians and Orthodox Jews and Muslims and people of different faiths and backgrounds and cultures to source these, you know, prime, olive oil and all these different ingredients from the middle east. And his goal with that first company again, was crossing divides and bringing peace through business and in doing so, he had to live in this tiny little basement apart.
[10:45] You know, that was crammed with, it was basically a supply room as much as it was a living space. And just really go through the fire, get knocked back often, knocked back, eventually get some shelf space at a pretty big grocery store, grow this into a chain and then move on from that company to a couple more and then finally kind comes about, but just this stop start of his career just shows that, you know, the title of your podcast is apt and that failure did not deter him because every time he faced a set.
[11:15] He thought about the people in the factories, the ad mat, or he thought about the people harvesting the olives and, you know, they were not always living peacefully with their neighbors because of, you know, divisions or hundreds or thousands of years old. And he thought if I quit, I'm quitting on them and I'm letting them down.
[11:34] And I'm also, if I do this, if I step away from this thing, because it's getting hard because I'm sick of these 18 hour days, because I'm sick of traipse around city streets. In the snow, just trying to get one good buyer for these products. There's a whole lot more resting on that than just me being able to tell an entrepreneur success story.
[11:55] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And I think it's so interesting to hear a guy like him. Who's a billionaire and really pulling back the curtain going, oh yeah. He started out struggling, failing, and generally, you know, striking out a lot till he got to the point where he could create success, but he's also. And this was the point of that chapter, I think was really about this is mission driven leadership.
[12:14] And I think when you have that mission, like this is what I'm taking away from it. Like when you have that mission and you have that purpose behind what you're doing, you become more resilient to failure. You can handle failure, you can handle rejections. It still doesn't feel good. It's sucks. It's not what you're seeking, but you're more resilient and you can build something special.
[12:34] What I really like about that is. You know, we get to decide how, you know, how much a setback really does set us back. And Lubetsky, it's almost like he turned those setbacks into starting blocks and, you know, he would just start fresh or, you know, with, with more wisdom and experience behind them. But you're right.
[12:51] He always kept his attention on his intention, which was to make things. And make the world a little bit kinder. And so what a great role model for us w one of the stoic techniques that we feature in the book that we talk about when we talk about Marcus Aurelius is modeling excellence. And I, and I think Daniel is a great role model for all of us in terms of, you know, doing the right thing and doing the kind thing he was able to do.
[13:19] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And we think of leaders. The first word we think about is not usually kind, but man, that is his mission. There was a great quote. I think maybe butchering this in paraphrasing bank goes, Henry James, the poet, or maybe writer had a quota said, uh, there are three rules to life. I think first one's to be kind.
[13:34] The second one is to be kind of third. One is to be kind and that's like, it's a mantra for them.
[13:38] Phil White: Yeah, exactly. Right.
[13:40] Yeah. And kindness goes a long way. One of the things that I think rings true for all the leaders that we feature in the book. You know, before there's any correction in terms of, you know, what the people they work with.
[13:51] There's a lot of connection. They show kindness, they get to know who, you know, who who's working with them. And that makes a big difference, especially when things get a little haywire or, you know, adversity strikes. And we definitely see that in the chapter with Tammy Jo Schultz with, you know, when an engine blows, she's the parol pilot, we're hitting on some of Phil's chapters here.
[14:10] And, uh, she was a great interview was so gracious and humble. And great stories from her childhood and so on. But yeah, one of the things she mentioned is, is, you know, trust is a big thing. Theme, obviously leadership, and you don't trust people. You don't know. And that's a great quote from her. And so taking that time to show a little kindness and to get to know the people you work with is really important.
[14:34] So then. You know, something tragic happens or, you know, it's crunch time. People could really, you know, they trust you, you trust them and you could find a way to get the job done. What, what do you think Phil. That aspect of, of what she was able to
[14:49] Phil White: share with us. Yeah. I think that what came through there, and again, for people that don't know, you know, you've already heard of have solely in the movie, you know, when, when you have home Tom Hanks playing you in a film that kind of helps get the word out, really, Tammy Jo should have, you know, a great actress playing her.
[15:05] In a film or TV adaptation of this story. So, you know, this Southwest airlines jet, as Jim said, one, the engines blows out and takes out a window and a lady get a passenger gets partially sucked out because of the pressure change and ended up, you know, they'd get her back in, but she dies mid-flight and the, the cabin is partly depressurized at this point.
[15:24] So it really Tammy Jo and her cohort. Could only focus on the task at hand, which was getting the bird back on the ground with no further loss of life or injury. And they couldn't be back in the cabin, making sure people had taken messy seats, trying to keep people as calm as they could. And so her point was sometimes delegation.
[15:44] Isn't a choice or division of responsibilities and it's not abdicated. Those are two different things we think of, oh, well, I don't want to let go of this because I'm not sure if that person is going to be capable of it or, well, they kind of like doing this. I know I don't have time for it, but I'm going to hold onto that.
[15:59] So we end up holding on to too many things and not giving that level of trust to people. In a crisis situation might have to do it, but it's just a, an extreme illustration of how delegation has to happen a lot of the time, even if there isn't a crisis present, so you can focus on what you're best at and recognizing that you have weaknesses and then actively surrounding yourself with other coaches, other leaders, other people whose strengths compliment your weaknesses.
[16:29] So in this case, she knew the names of every one of the cabin. They had had, you know, the usual brief light meetings. She usually brings coffee or iced tea or chocolates, particularly when it's a newer crew. And then they'll go through the cabin and she'll help unfastened seatbelts that have been left fast and pick up trash.
[16:47] So to show like, Hey, there may be this wall dividing us in flight and we can't come back there in flight, but we're just amongst you guys, like, don't look at it. You know, our rank or look at the fancy hat that we wear when we first get on the plane or whatever it might be like, we're just part of the team.
[17:04] And we are fully entrusting you to take care of these people that are coming on because we can't. Our job is to fly the plane. Your job is to serve them, make sure their needs are met, make sure they're safe. And again, you may never have, you know, hopefully none of us have to face that kind of crisis in terms of.
[17:22] Playing with hundreds of passengers, not leveling out the cabin mean depressurize you being down an engine, but the point still holds that even in non serious situation, she created connections. So that then there was trust and then everyone knew that, Hey, I can trust you to fly the plane and I can trust you to be back here taking care of people.
[17:43] Yeah. It's not
[17:44] that difficult, but it needs to be a priority. And it's just been amazing in my own experience. Some of the places that worked or, you know, some of the consulting work that I had. Where I'll ask simple questions in a group setting, you know, Hey, tell me about, you know, a highlight in your career or, you know, tell me something from your childhood.
[18:01] And it's amazing other, you know, once people start sharing their stories a little bit, it's amazing someone that's worked next to that person or with that person for years and years will be like, Hey, I didn't know that about. And so communication is so, you know, it's, it's such a key and, and again, that's how we build trust.
[18:21] And so, you know, some of the things that we talk about in the book or what we call brilliant basics or common sense, but, you know, as we've all heard a million times common sense, isn't always so common. And I think we get lost in the weeds of, you know, some of the. You know, finer points of leadership or some of the finer points of the X's and O's if you're a coach, but we forget that it's all about people and relationships are really the glue that binds excellence in any organization together.
[18:52] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Quick interruption. Hey, if you like what you're hearing, be sure to get the notes, quotes and links in the action plan from this episode, just go to JimHarshawJr.com/ACTION. That's JimHarshawJr.com/ACTION. To get your free copy of the action plan. Now back to the show, and there was a great success through failure as it relates to leadership story.
[19:14] When you guys talk about Marcus Aurelius and how he took over command of, I think it was the largest army ever assembled at that point. Can you tell
[19:23] that. Yeah. So it was during the, uh, Marco manic wars, Phil and I are not experts on those wars, but it was a, I think there were a few of them and this was near the end of, or, well, at the beginning of the Marco manic wars, Marcus Aurelius was thrust into a position of having to be commander in chief with no military experience, like you said.
[19:45] And he was generally perceived by everyone to be, you know, an inappropriate commander because of. You know, not having any military experience. And so, you know, as we talk about in the book, you know, that talk about a fish, you know, really out of water there, but what's amazing about that is, you know, he listened, he got to know the right people.
[20:05] He asked questions, he was humble. He, you know, it was a steep learning curve for him, but he did his very best and he always tried to do the right thing. And, you know, just a few years later, by the end of the first Marco manic war, His Legion, you know, the legions absolutely idolized him. And, you know, they went from who is this guy and he has no business being here to, Hey, we'll follow you wherever you go, because we trust you.
[20:30] We believe in you. And we could tell that you care about the right things and what a great story in terms of, you know, something that we could all learn from. You know, a lot of times we're thrust into positions of leadership where there's a lot of dysfunction around. And so, you know, most of us don't find a leadership position or, you know, or enter a leadership position when things are going really well, you know, in terms of the team or the group or society.
[20:56] And so you're starting from a tough spot, no matter what. And he was able to turn what seemed like a big negative into a big, positive, and made such a positive difference for everyone.
[21:08] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I think a lot of people have this sense. I know that I used to is I will be ready to be a leader once I've learned everything.
[21:16] Once I stop failing, once I stop making mistakes, then I'll be ready for that role because you help bust that myth. I think, you know, in this story you just did, but I mean, do you hear that from people? And do you, do you see that in people who want
[21:30] to be like, Yeah, leaders and, and definitely, uh, athletes, Phil and I work with.
[21:34] And, you know, I'll ask athletes, you know, when I'm working with a team, you know, raise your, you know, especially at higher levels, raise your hand. If you consider yourself a perfectionist and you know, almost everyone raises their hands. And I'll say, can I be a little bit tough on you guys? And they'll say, okay, what do you, what do you got coming for me?
[21:50] And I'll say, uh, well basically I'll put it this way. No one in this room is good enough to play perfectly or lead. Perfect. You know, that's the bad news and, you know, they don't like hearing that because when you really think about it, you know, perfect doesn't theoretically or even practically even exist.
[22:06] But the good news though, is you don't have to lead perfect or play perfect in order to make a positive impact or, or win the game. So I think that's really important that we focus on seeking progress. Not perfect. And that's more of a mastery approach. I think trying to be perfect, just paralyzes us and keeps us stuck.
[22:24] We're not going to take risks if we're not sure that we're going to be perfect at something. And that's how we learn and grow is by taking chances. And the other thing too about that with leadership is, you know, what we've found in what's demonstrated in the book is that vulnerability based trust is built upon leaders being able to share, and you know what they're willing to admit their own mistakes and weaknesses.
[22:47] And that provides an opportunity for, you know, the people they work with to do the same. And I think if a leader tries to come across as too perfect people, aren't going to respect that leader and they're going to be really afraid of making mistakes. And so no one gets good by holding back. And so if a leader is able to say, look, here's some of the mistakes I've made and, you know, take extreme ownership of that to bring up Jocko.
[23:11] Everyone else will fall in line. Yeah.
[23:13] Phil White: I think that Hamilton tells a great story about this, the surfer, the guy that basically popularized to surfing paddle boarding and now foil boarding. And he says that, you know, everyone assumes that, that I'm just not scared anymore. Or there's part of my brain that doesn't work.
[23:29] He said, actually, I might be the most scared guy out there on the waves, but that drives me to out prepare everybody else. So if you've ever seen. You know, one of the older documentaries where him and Dave Kalama and Derek Dora, and these guys, you know, they used to call the strap crew. And this was the group that surfed a wave that was considered unsolvable at jaws PR here in Hawaii, they checked the jet ski is the checks, the safety sleds, and then they checked them again.
[23:58] They checked. Literally every little bell and whistle for hours before they went out. Cause they knew when 70, 80 foot waves are coming down. Things get too real to be wondering, oh, are we almost out of fuel? Did we pack that extra five gallon tank on the back or whatever it might be? And so I love that in his case.
[24:19] In a high consequence environment, fear drove a rededication to preparation. So I think that's an example of how we can handle not being equipped for a situation. And here's a guy that grew up in the ocean. You know, his stepfather, Billy Hamilton was one of the legendary surfers in the sixties and just grew up a water baby effectively, but still.
[24:39] Yes, those nerves. And, you know, there's probably an analogy around dropping in or not dropping in when you're on the top of the wave. And one of his two partners talks about the millennium wave and he said, I turned around for a second to look at this thing. And I was like, oh, holy crap. And. Face forward for a second.
[24:56] Then he turned around sideways. The other way to tell led, do not go, you're going to get vaporized on the reef, but he was already gone. And this is the one where he had to use his back hand instead of the front hand, as you normally would just stabilize because the reef is so shallow and the hydrodynamics, it's not the highest way, but it's all usually be the thickest wave in the world.
[25:16] And so. Even with that, all that preparation, there is still that gut check moment of, do I go or do I not go? And sometimes your partner or your teammates about the same now I don't need you to do this, but you've got to be like that. You've already got.
[25:30] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I appreciate you pulling back the curtain on these people who we think, you know, have no fear are these leaders and performers who we think they got it, and this is easy for them.
[25:38] It's not it just like for you, the listener, it's not going to be easy for you. And let that fear drive you. There's a point in the book where you talk about sort of what we envisioned. When we talk about a leader, we might think of. You said Bobby Knight's fiery intensity or Margaret Thatcher's iron wheel or markers are really us as unflappable calm yet.
[25:58] It's a mistake to think that such leaders were always this way. So that prompted me to ask you guys this question. It's a classic leadership question. Are leaders born
[26:08] or leaders? Yeah, it's definitely a little bit of both. Right. And we do quote, Vince Lombardi, who says leaders are made not born, but you know, it is a little bit of both.
[26:18] There are natural born leaders. You could see that with kids, you know, my daughters, age 10. And you know, when she's hanging out with friends and you know, they get together and one of them will say, Hey, let's do this. And everyone follows along. And so some people are, you know, a little bit more natural with leadership than others, but anyone could learn to lead better.
[26:37] And that's important. We all need, you know, can and should learn to be more confident and competent in, in leadership roles. As we were talking about earlier, we're all going to play them anyway. And so we might as well do a better job at those and other people that might not be naturally. You know, we'll find that, you know, just out of necessity or ambition again, that they, Hey, this is something I need to get better at.
[27:00] And so having that growth mindset around it is really important. I think back in the day when I was growing up, everything was more fixed mindset. You're either a leader or you're not, you're either confident or you're not, you know, you're born this way or you're not born that way. And so if you don't see yourself as a great leader right now, No, that there's hope and know that that's something that is kind of a fun challenge to see how good you can get at leadership.
[27:22] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: But what can you do? I mean, any tactics or practical things for the person who's sitting there and saying, you know, I'm not, I'm not in a leadership role, but I want to be a leader. Whether I get given the title or not. Like, how do you become a better leader? Let me specific
[27:36] things you can share. Yeah, well, I think you're hitting the nail on the head in terms of being willing to screw up, to make mistakes, to appear, you know, that I don't have all the answers and that's how we learn and grow.
[27:50] And. I think talking about leadership is important. Listening to podcasts, such as yours, reading books about leadership, you know, picking maybe, you know, a few favorite leaders or that might seem like someone that you would be interested in learning more about reading their biography. I know, uh, fulfill Winston Churchill is, is one of his guys.
[28:08] And I definitely want to keep learning more about Winston Churchill, but, you know, we could all take little bits and pieces from these great leaders and then apply them in our own way in our own life.
[28:18] Phil White: I think that another thing is just seeking out an opportunity that you think you might not be ready for.
[28:24] No, you're not ready for and doing it. You know, maybe it's applying for a job where you don't necessarily fit the requirements you think, oh, they're just going to, you know, if they print this stack of these out, month's going to get screwed up in front of the rubbish. Well, that may be, but also you need to realize, um, as our friend David Epstein talks about in the book range, there's this network effect.
[28:47] And so maybe the tried to think about, and this is one that Jim taught me, write down this confidence card of three situations in the past where you've been called on to lead. Even if it's not in a, what you would consider a traditional leadership role, we can all probably do that. And then put that next to your gold card, which has three big ambitious goals next to it.
[29:09] And then that. Ty is what you're shooting for, with what you've been capable of in the past and in the middle is what's going to happen in the moment now to bridge the gap between those two things. Love
[29:22] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: that. Very tactical for the listener. Go back and listen to this section again, because they're telling you how to go from where you're at, to where you want to be.
[29:31] You know, you you've interviewed so many leaders for this book. And just through your, your line, me, both of you guys have written other books and, you know, worked with amazing people. Do you see commonalities between great leaders and you guys it's just in this book alone, there were so many different personalities and, you know, experiences and backgrounds.
[29:51] Are there common traits commonalities across all grades?
[29:56] Yeah. I think one that really hit home for me in terms of the interviews and the work on this book is that the leaders that, you know, again, most people admire, I don't think they ever feel that they've arrived. They remained curious, remain humble and.
[30:11] And I think the problem is when someone in a leadership role thinks that they have all the answers and, you know, what's the saying that, you know, if your head gets too big, it's easy to fill your shoes, you know, to find someone else that could do your job for you. And, and so I think that most young leaders are hungry to learn as much as they can.
[30:30] And I think that the best of the more senior leaders. Kind of try to remain, maintain that beginner's mind. And a lot of times when we work with more senior leaders, it's, it's getting them to go back to the basics of leadership in terms of the fundamentals of, you know, relationship building and identifying your core values.
[30:50] You know, am I breathing life into those core values each day, those kinds of things. And that's really what makes the biggest difference. So I would say it's just kind of always a student is how, you know, maybe you could say in terms of the best leaders.
[31:04] Phil White: No, that's great. I think even though it gets talked about a lot, I'm not sure it's practice as much as it should be is a servant leadership.
[31:12] So what can I do? To make the people around me better and also to take a burden off them to make their life easier. So, you know, if you talk to a head coach to, and you've been a head coach, so, you know, this often they've been like a camp counselor even way back before they were the last assistant on the bench or not even an on bench assistant in basketball terms.
[31:36] And as a camp counselor, they may have been required to check families. It, check kids in. Take family money or put it in the camp bank, you know, so kids can buy their, their shorts and their socks and their jerseys or whatever and snacks throughout the week. And at that stage, the mentality is what can I do to make sure that they, out of all the other camp counselors here, they asked me back next year.
[32:00] And this is again, it's for somebody that has, you know, could I maybe get an assistant or an intern coach position with this program eventually in mind? So it's an example of. How we, we go in with that kind of mentality to that kind of role, but I think we lose that along the way. It could be titles, it could be salary, it could be a claim.
[32:22] It could be achievements, whatever resume highlights, when you know, winning a lot or. We started to get away from that. And I think if we maintain that cam counselor perspective of, okay, sure. Again like Tammy, Jo, she's got to fly that plane. So she can't be back in the cabin, making sure everyone's doing what they're supposed to be doing.
[32:43] It is still the same mindset. So as Jim said, kind of that white belt mentality, that camp counselor mentality, that when you had your first job and you were starting at the very bottom harken back to those times and think about how did I make things easier for coach? How did I make things easier for the boss?
[33:01] How did I try to endear myself to my, to my coworkers? As an, you know, that summer internship in college, hopefully they were going to ask me back next year. And then after that, hopefully they would be one of those that might offer me a job. So don't lose sight of that, that same eagerness, that same willingness to make a mark and that same willingness to serve as you had at the begin.
[33:24] Yeah. And that's, what's amazing about, you know, bringing up markets really is again, is he really, truly did see himself as a servant of the people. And so think about the most powerful person on the planet, really trying to make a positive difference and not making it all about himself. And, you know, what's the acronym, ego, edges, greatness out, you know, he kept his ego in check and what a great inspiration to all of us, you know, and, and it shows how someone can be an emperor and maintain their own.
[33:53] And I think that that's what great leadership is all about. One of the things
[33:56] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: that differentiates this book, in addition to the, the unique perspectives you bring to leadership. Something that I really love. And it, throughout each chapter, you pose different questions that leaders can and should ask themselves to develop.
[34:15] And also just to get out of the weeds for the experienced leader, who's listening, you're in your own head, you're in the weeds and it's hard to pull yourself back and. Talked quite a bit on this podcast about the concept of the productive pause and for the new listener. The definition is this is a short period of focused reflection around specific questions that leads to clarity of action and peace of mind.
[34:37] And this is something that I see in all world-class performers. This is a common habit or a common theme that I've discovered through so many interviews with world-class performance. And so I want to ask you guys, do you have any favorite questions that you maybe there were included in the book or the you ask leaders or you feel leaders should ask themselves?
[34:56] I'll pick out here's one that I captured from the book that really speaks to me, certainly with the theme of the podcast, but also just in general, as, as a leader, the question is what can you do to reframe a recent setback as a new operative? And whether you're a leader or not, that is absolutely relevant.
[35:14] I mean, it hits the nail on the head. Like we all fail, we all have these setbacks. How can you reframe it? How can you actually look at that and not just hear this on a podcast and go, oh, that sounds like a good idea for somebody else. Like, no, like hit the pause button on the podcast or when you're done listening to this, actually sit down or think about this or have this conversation with somebody, but I'll put it over to you guys.
[35:31] Any, any favorite questions that will be helpful for this?
[35:34] Well self-reflection is the key to change. So I love that we're talking about this topic and we all need to take those, uh, powerful pauses and reflect and take stock of where we're at and what we can do better. Or, you know, what can we, maybe, if we do something well, how can we duplicate that and exceed it?
[35:54] But I think one of the most important questions, or if not the most important question for leaders to ask themselves, Is, you know, on their way to work that day, you know, or the field, if they're a coach, wherever it is, what I want to work for me today, you know what I want to play for me today, you know, am I in a good state of mind and mood that, you know, and, and setting the right tone for people to be around.
[36:16] And so they could bring out the best in themselves. And so I think that's a really important question to ask yourself, you know, based on how I'm coming across right now, what I want to be around me.
[36:28] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Fantastic question,
[36:30] Phil White: uh, loves that. I think mine would be a three-part or around the word who, and so when you're early in your career, who do I know either now who is maybe one or two steps ahead of me in my field that can.
[36:49] Really give me something in terms of their example of leadership, who could be a mentor to me either formally or informally. So I think that that's the first step for a mid-career person who could I bring in from the past to enhance this team, this leadership team. And they may not actually have the typical qualification for the job, or they may not have.
[37:14] Similar leadership skills to you, but you know, you can trust them. You know, they're a solid person. Um, and two of the leaders in, in, you know, one of their anchor, their anchor quotes into these chapters, Paul Radcliffe at Stanford, one of the most successful soccer coaches in NCAA history. I said this, like, just be a good person.
[37:33] So who do you know, who is a good person that could come in and fulfill a role on your team and mentor and guide? So that that's the main career one. And then when you get later in your career and you're starting to think about legacy, who do I know? Is it your son, your grandson? Is it a young cousin in the family?
[37:54] Is it someone in your church? You seems like they might need some mentorship. So at our church flat irons here in Colorado, they have a, a program called fathers in the fields and it's for folks to come volunteer a minimum of a three-year commitment and to come alongside. Single moms and the child of those single parent families, and really just give them spiritual guidance, be a father figure almost to them kind of a, a role model in their life.
[38:25] And we know that in communities, from our, our friends, Steve Mosler classroom champion. When the percentage of role models, depths, even a little bit, school attendance goes down, crime rates go up out rates, go up. And if you hadn't had Steve on the show, he'd be a great one to talk about this. So we don't often think about.
[38:46] Something like fathers in the fields or big brothers, big sisters, or even a more informal thing where you just, you know, find a younger person at your company, say if you're an executive that you see potential in them, but you know that they've maybe had a trouble background or there's a gap in that leader.
[39:01] And how can you pour into that person? Because the problem is if, if all the water stays in the picture, it starts to get stagnant. We need water flow. The same as if you got a pond or a water feature in your backyard, you got to get some flow in that so that it becomes air rated. Otherwise all the fish or whatever the heck you got in there is going to die.
[39:20] So one way to air rate that water is to be regularly pouring out. And then for somebody to be topping you back.
[39:29] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Guys, incredible insights. Jim, Phil, thank you so much for making time to come on the show. I get so much out of doing these interviews and man, this one just raise my leadership IQ quite a bit, even after reading the book.
[39:41] So thank you. Where can the listeners find you follow you by the book?
[39:46] Yep. The book is a everywhere. So what we like to do is also plug your local bookstore. So since we don't know the name of it, reach out to them and we support, you know, small, independent bookstores. And it's also the books on Amazon.
[39:59] Thanks for asking that. And I'm, uh, at gold medal, mine, Twitter, and then Jim Afremow on Instagram.
[40:06] Phil White: Yeah. Look at Jim's stuff. You don't want to hear any more from me, but for some reason needed. Reluctantly on the socials time. And again, just at fill white books everywhere. And then if you want to start a more in depth conversation, just fill in those couple of fields on my website for white bookstore.
[40:23] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Excellent. And for the listener, of course, like as always, we have all of the links to their social media, the websites where you can buy the book, et cetera, rate in the action plan, go to JimHarshawJr.com/ACTION to get all of those links and all the great quotes and everything from the shell fellows.
[40:40] you so much. Thanks, Jim. What a
[40:42] Phil White: pleasure. Thank you everybody. Appreciate your time today. Thank you.
[40:47] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Thanks for listening. If you want to apply these principles into. Let's talk. You can see the limited spaces that are open on my calendar at JimHarshawJr.com/APPLY where you can sign up for a free one-time coaching call directly with me.
[41:02] And don't forget to grab your action plan. Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/ACTION. And lastly, iTunes tends to suggest podcasts with more ratings and reviews more. You would totally make my day. If you give me a rating and review those go a long way in helping me grow the podcast audience, just open up your podcast app.
[41:23] If you have an iPhone, do a search for success through failure, select it, and then scroll the whole way to the bottom where you can leave the podcast, a rating and a review. Now I hope this isn't just another podcast episode for you. I hope you take action on what you learned here today. Good luck.
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