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In this episode, Jason Wolfe, CEO of Wolfe, LLC shares his story of how he went from being an orphan and homeless to creating, scaling, and selling multiple multi-million dollar businesses.

Jason Wolfe, CEO of Wolfe, LLC

JASON’S BIO:

Jason Wolfe is an American businessman and entrepreneur who is the founder of Wolfe, LLC, Pittsburgh’s leading technology incubator and investor. Jason is also the Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh Technology Council – which has over 1,000 technology related member companies employing over 30% of Pittsburgh’s workforce.

Wolfe has appeared on the MSNBC program, Morning Joe and has been profiled in Entrepreneur and Fortune (among other publications). In 2015, Wolfe was awarded a Diamond Award from the Pittsburgh Business Times and named Tech CEO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

CONNECT WITH JASON:

If this podcast helped you and you believe it could help others, please share it on social media and consider leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Also, we would love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Leave a comment below!

The post 223: From Being an Orphan and Homeless to Creating, Scaling and Selling Multi-Million Dollar Businesses with Jason Wolfe appeared first on L3 Leadership.

  
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In this episode, you will hear our Q&A session with Jason Wolfe, CEO of Wolfe, LLC.

L3 Leadership Podcast Episode #224_ Q&A with Jason Wolfe, CEO of Wolfe, LLC

JASON’S BIO:

Jason Wolfe is an American businessman and entrepreneur who is the founder of Wolfe, LLC, Pittsburgh’s leading technology incubator and investor. Jason is also the Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh Technology Council – which has over 1,000 technology related member companies employing over 30% of Pittsburgh’s workforce.

Wolfe has appeared on the MSNBC program, Morning Joe and has been profiled in Entrepreneur and Fortune (among other publications). In 2015, Wolfe was awarded a Diamond Award from the Pittsburgh Business Times and named Tech CEO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

CONNECT WITH JASON: QUESTIONS ASKED:
  1. When your creating company culture… what are the things that make people self-select if they want to be a part of it or not?
  2.  Did you start your companies with selling in mind? How did they sell?
  3. I see a lot of things broken in the world. How did you determine what you would focus on fixing and what your first step would be?
  4. What is the progression of growth you’ve seen personally in the stages of entrepreneurship you mentioned?
  5. How does Pittsburgh stack against other entrepreneurial hot spots like the Valley, Austin, etc.?
  6. What are the implications on your 4 stage cycle on your family as an entrepreneur?
  7.  Is grit a transferrable skill you can train?
  8.  What are you seeing with technology in the next 10 years?
  9. When you sell your businesses… what are the indicators that it is time to move on with the companies you founded
  10. What is the end of the story you mentioned about the Jewish woman you dated?
  11.  Do you think jobs like accounting will be eliminated in the future due to technology?
  12.  Can you walk us through your spiritual journey and how it’s projecting into the future?
  13.  How can other community’s replicate what is happening in Pittsburgh?
  14.  What were some of the biggest risks you’ve had to take and how do you navigate them?
  15.  If you could go back in time what would you tell yourself?

If this podcast helped you and you believe it could help others, please share it on social media and consider leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Also, we would love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Leave a comment below!

The post Entrepreneurship Q&A Session with Jason Wolfe, CEO of Wolfe, LLC appeared first on L3 Leadership.

  
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Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with Ken Coleman.  It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos.

Ken Coleman: 00:00 I remind them, it took me in the eight years, eight years, Doug, to catch my national break. Eight years. That’s a long time man. And I’ll look at them. Of course, I can’t look at them, but I mean I’m talking to them on the phone. I’ll say, are you willing to do what it takes? And I just leave it. Are you willing to do what it takes if it takes you eight years, are you willing?

Doug Smith: 00:27 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 222

Doug Smith: 00:45 Hey what’s up everyone? Welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well. In today’s episode, you’ll hear my interview with Ken Coleman if you’re unfamiliar with Ken, he is the host of the Ken Coleman Show and the top-rated Entreleadership podcast and he is author of the brand new book, The Proximity Principle, the proven strategies that will lead you to the career that you love. And that book comes out today and I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of the book and I read it in just a few days. It is a must read, it’s an easy read but extremely practical. And if you will put in place the principles that can share in The Proximity Principle, I’m telling you it will change your life and you’ll get to hear us discuss, the entire book in this interview.

Doug Smith: 01:27 You’re going to absolutely love it. I just appreciate Ken so much. This is his fourth time on the podcast and actually can significantly changed my life. I end episode number 182. He actually gives me feedback on my interview skills and that was February of 2018 it’s been over a year, most of the year and a half since that episode. And I can tell you that Ken’s feedback from me, has literally changed my life and made me better. And so I’m so grateful for him and I’m so excited about this new book cause I know it’s going to do for others what Ken did for me in that interview. And so, we’re going to get into that in just a minute. But before we do just a few announcements. First I just want to say thank you so much for listening to the podcast. If you enjoy it, it would mean the world to me.

Doug Smith: 02:08 If you would subscribe to the podcast and share this with another leader that you think this episode would add value to, share it on social media, send an email, just help us get the word out. And one way you can help get the word out is actually by leaving a rating and review that helps us get more exposure for the podcast. And each week I want to thank someone who’s done that. And so this week I want to thank Lis Maxwell and she said this about the podcast. She said, this is easily one of my favorite podcasts, the thoughtful questions that Doug asks to each guest leads them to share great life lessons in builds community. Both leaders in ministry and marketplace leaders will benefit from this podcast. Let’s thank you so much for listening and leaving a rating and review and I will be sending you a gift card in the mail as a thank you for that, so thank you all for listening and go leave a rating and review. I also want to thank our sponsor Alex Tulandin. Alex is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty and if you’re looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love to have an opportunity to connect with you. You can learn more about Alex and connect with him at pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com with that being said, let’s dive right into the interview with Ken and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements.

Doug Smith: 03:16 Well Ken, thank you so much for being willing to do this interview and you just came out with a brand new book, The Proximity Principle. I had the opportunity to read it, absolutely loved it. I got through it in just a few days. I absolutely love the principles. I think it’s going to change a lot of people’s lives. But something else I really enjoyed. And you, you actually share your journey and your experience in the book. And for me to see the behind the scenes of your life and how you’ve actually lived these principles, had a huge impact on me as well. So can you just tell us, you know, what is the proximity principle and why did you write this book?

Ken Coleman: 03:47 Yeah, so The Proximity Principle as I first crafted it states, in order to do what you want to do, you’ve got to be around people that are doing it and in places where it is happening. So very simple to the point. So you pick the industry, you pick the sector, you pick the role, and you’ve got to start going, okay, now who are the people that are doing that role or in that sector? And then where are the places that, that role or that function or what is that section? How do I get in that world? So, you know, it allows you to, uh, demystify. That’s what the proximity principle does. It allows you to demystify the journey even though that Mount Everest is high. You realize, wait a second, I can get near the mountain, I can get on the mountain and eventually I’ll get up the mountain,

Ken Coleman: 04:39 if I just continually put myself around the right people and the right place. It’s really it’s a  simple formula, the right people plus the right places equals opportunity. So I wrote the book because I have a daily radio show is you know, Doug on Sirius XM and its caller after caller, it’s a caller-driven show. And I just kept listening to callers share their fear of failure there. Fear of peers and family members kinda scoffing at uh, what might seem like a not smart decision to step out and pursue the dream that, that you know, deep in your heart you’re called to do. And I heard the fear, I heard the doubt that I, I, it’s too late for me. My ship has sailed doubt that there is an actual path. Uh, so I heard fear and doubt and intimidation and all those things.

Ken Coleman: 05:32 And I, I kind of went back into my own journey, Doug, of course, I write about my journey. I want people as they read the book and they learn about the people and places to realize that I’ve actually done when I’m writing about it was very scary for me at 33 years of age to strike out and go after a career in broadcasting in a big dream and national dream, but having no training and not many contacts that field at all. And so, I wrote the book because I want people to grab the power of the principle. It is a simple principle, but it’s really powerful. It positions us where we need to be by being around the right people in the right places. And then it propels us forward. And so I wrote it so that people go, wait a second, I can do this. I actually have what it takes. I, I can do this. I, I don’t need some magical carpet to show up and, and, you know, move me on my way. I can do this. And I think that’s why I wrote it. Hope and clarity are the two reasons that I wrote the book.

Doug Smith: 06:40 Yeah, you mentioned when you were 33, you know, went after the stream that was in your heart for a long time. And a theme that I saw over and over again in the book was this theme around ownership. And you actually think, I think you said it’s about your own journey. You said at one day you decided that if I was ever going to be a broadcaster, it was up to me and me alone. Can you just talk about the importance of, owning your dream for those listening? Cause I thought that was very powerful.

Ken Coleman: 07:04 Yeah. Yeah, t That came from a moment after about an hour and a half of sitting on my back patio on a cool spring morning. And I was just really down and really having a down time because I had visualized the dream, and I had also done the hard work of discovery to make sure that I had the talent to do it, to make sure that I had the passion to do it. You got to have talent and passion together. You use what you do best talent to do what you love to do, most passion. And so I had done that work and I had told some friends and family, I had done a few auditions for goofy stuff like commercials or, yeah, I was just trying to get in. I just knew I needed to get in and I tried to do a few things and I had been rejected and, and I had unwittingly shrunk back, you know, like a turtle back into its shell.

Ken Coleman: 07:58 Because it’s not fun to get rejected. It’s, it’s not fun to face your fears. It’s not fun to step into doubt. It’s just not. And so I was in a season where I just was kind of miserable and feeling sad. Why hasn’t anybody discovered me? I’m really talented. I’ve got what it takes. Why is this clown over here doing it? I’m better than him. You know, this kind of ugly, nasty, just really yucky stuff going on in my heart. And I’m sitting on this patio that day and you know, Doug, I don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but at some point you, when you’re wallowing in your own pity, it gets to the point where you go, I’m either going to get out of this, this, this kitty pool of pity, right? Or I’m going to drown. I mean, I got to do something.

Ken Coleman: 08:46 And that’s when the thought hit me. Nobody is sitting around thinking about how they can help Ken Coleman live his dream. It literally came to me just like that. I’m sitting there and I wouldn’t, I didn’t say it out loud, but I’m just sitting there thinking, I’m going, I’ve got to make some more moves. No one is going to give me the opportunity. I’m going to have to build my opportunity because I tried to get in with other people and convince them to hire me and all this kinda stuff as I’m going to have to build it myself. I’m going to have to do it because I’m the only one that cares as much as I care. And that was a real watershed moment for me. And I got out of that kitty pool, if you will, of pity, dried myself off and said, okay, things are going to change and I’m going to replace desperation, depression,

Ken Coleman: 09:34 I’m going to replace that with action. And so I did. And it really changed my entire journey. And, and that’s when I begin to get in proximity, very intentionally and habitually to the right people in our places. Before that, it had just been, you know, kind of hit and miss. And, years later, I mean, Doug, like a year ago, I’m in the car driving in a to the office, getting ready for a podcast interview much like this. And that’s when I, the proximity principle came to me. I had never verbalized it before. And so then I thought, well, there’s something here and I begin to share it on the radio that people began to grab it. Go, okay, I get that. Okay. That is simple and I can see how it works and it begins to give people hope and hope is what propels us into action and keeps us on the path. So, that was the moment for me where I realized, wait a second, if it’s to be, it’s up to me. It’s a very famous quote and escapes me who said it. We credit the books on the order about it today, but you know, it really is true. It’s, it’s up to all of us to actually put ourselves in proximity.

Doug Smith: 10:42 Yeah. And so you said you started getting intentional about those you want to be in proximity with, in the book you actually talk about five people to look for as you began to climb towards your dream job. They all stood out to me, but two that I want to talk about now just about your journey as mentors and producers.

Ken Coleman: Yeah.

Doug Smith: And you already said no one’s out there saying, I want to help Ken Coleman.

Ken Coleman: Right.

Doug Smith: People always want to get mentored in our culture. They want to be around the producers. But I feel like there’s a lack of knowledge that those people aren’t thinking about them. Can you talk about what people can do to be intentional, to start to get in proximity with some of the right mentors, producers and other people?

Ken Coleman: 11:18 Yeah, I’ll start with the mentors because they’re so valuable to this journey. When I say that nobody’s sitting around thinking about how they want to help Ken or helping Doug or help you fill in your name. And what that means is, is that they’re waking up and they’ve got their journey, they’ve got their agenda, and they will think about how to help you if you put yourself in front of them. And so I was fortunate to have three really strong mentors and they’re still in my life. And I will tell you that two of them were very important in this season of starting a, that I talked about. So taking back to that patio. And then in the subsequent days, weeks, months, and years ahead, there were times where I needed to call those mentors and go, hey, I got to tell you, are you, can you please tell me if I’m an idiot, like am I lying to myself?

Doug Smith: 12:09 No, that’s a great question.

Ken Coleman: And one of my mentors, Don would go, no, you’re fine. You’re doing everything out to do and is high pitch Texas voice. I need to say you’re doing everything you need to do. Tell me some progress. What have you done? Where have you made some gains? And he would basically give me his perspective because I didn’t have my own clear perspective. You know, when you’re in it, sometimes you just can’t see clearly and you need mentors. People have wisdom, okay. And they’ve got experience and they’ve been there and they know you and they see what you’re doing and they can ask the hard questions and they can be gut level honest with you because you trust them and you love them enough to let them be honest with you like that. And so that was huge. And so you’ve got to have a mentor, not just for the encouragement and the perspective, but also the wisdom.

Ken Coleman: 12:59 Hey, what do you think? What do you think? And to be able to bounce things off of people. And I also think accountability is the other ones. So, you know, that’s what the mentor does. They are invested in you. They’ve agreed to invest in you. They said, I’m on speed dial, I’m there for you. You need me, I’m here for you. That’s really huge, you know, to have that wise sage in your life, who can provide those key things I just listed out. So the producer is a very different person. The producer in the book and in your mind needs to be somebody, a man or woman who is a very successful in the field that you want to be in and to the level that they are essentially hiring other people. So they’re the movers-shakers. Now in my world of broadcasting or producer is an actual producer.

Ken Coleman: 13:46 They’re the ones hiring talent and, you know, creating shows and, and you know, what have you. But in your world, if you want to go into a, let’s say real estate, a producer would be a broker who’s winning. You know, who you want to, if you could get under their umbrella because they’ve got a great business in real estate, you know that, that they’d be somebody who can give you great advice about your journey, make connections for you, but also potentially hire you. Okay? So that’s the producer. We want to be around producers, people that are actually winning and they are leading and hiring people in your field because of those three keys. And so two examples of the people that you want to be around. And so early on, I, you know, I got around people who could potentially give me a break.

Ken Coleman: 14:33 I got really, really specific. So I went and met one day, I’ll give you an example, with a gal named Jen. She was the producer of a show called sports night is on Comcast sports southeast. So, Comcast Fox, they all have these regional networks. And this was a 12 state, a regional sports network in the Atlanta area, and I had a connection. I worked at my connection, my connection got me a meeting with this gal. Okay, so this is how proximity works, right? I had a couple of guys that I knew and broadcasting that I had built a relationship with and I said, Hey, do you know anybody over Comcast sports LD? And the guy goes, yeah, I know Jen. She’s the producer. And I said, well, would you be willing to call her, email her and vouch for me and say, Hey, will you give my buddy a 15-minute meeting?

Ken Coleman: 15:14 He’s not nuts. I just love for you to do this as a favor. Okay. So he said, sure, I’ll do it. Guess what, email Jen. Jen doesn’t know me from Adam. So because of my buddy who says, hey Jen, will you give my friend Ken a meeting? I get the meeting. So I go in and I pitched this idea and I pitched the idea. She says, you know, I actually like this. She says, I don’t have a budget for it and I can’t hire you, but I’ll tell you what, if you produce a package, so do a three-minute segment because that’s about how long we would air it on our show sports night. Give me a couple, three minutes segments so that I can see what you would do with this and I’ll give you honest feedback. Doug, I walked out of there like she gave me a, you know, job because I finally had an opportunity to actually get my work, my idea in front of somebody who could, in fact, do something with it.

Ken Coleman: 16:09 And so I did it and I turned it into her. I gave her two different three minutes segments. She liked it. She goes, I’m going to air these, these are ready to go. She said, great job. Who’d you work with? I said, well, I have another buddy who is in television production, has his own little company. And he helped me do all the audio and editing. And I did the interviews and we put it together. She goes, I love it. I’m going to run it. She said, can you give me four more? It’s amazing. Here’s the deal. Here’s the deal. When people hear this, I didn’t make any money on those. She didn’t pay me for those. I did all the work. I paid for it out of my own pocket to pay my buddy to shoot, edit and give it to me, and then I turned it in.

Ken Coleman: 16:48 She put me on air after the segments ran, I got on the air and so I didn’t make any money and at some point, I ran out of money on it. I couldn’t keep it going, but we ran four or five and do you know what that did for me? I don’t know that I could put a value on what that did for my..

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In this episode, you’ll hear Ken Coleman share about his new book, “The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead To A Career You Love.

L3 Leadership Podcast Episode #222_ Ken Coleman on The Proximity Principle.jpg

Buy The Proximity Principle (affiliate link) Ken’s Bio:

Ken Coleman is the host of The Ken Coleman Show and the top-rated EntreLeadership Podcast, and author of One Question: Life-Changing Answers from Today’s Leading Voices. An acclaimed interviewer and broadcaster, Coleman equips, encourages and entertains listeners through thought-provoking interviews, helping them grow their businesses, pursue their passions, and move toward a fulfilled purpose. You can follow him on Twitter at @KenColeman, on Instagram at @KenWColeman, and online at kencolemanshow.com or facebook.com/KenColemanHost.

Connect with Ken: Questions Asked:
  • What is the Proximity Principle? Why did you write this?
  • One theme I saw throughout the book was “Ownership” You said, “If I was ever  going to be a broadcaster, it was up to me and me alone…” Can you talk about how important it is for people to “own their dreams?
  • “People who can help you are working hard and not focused on helping In the book, you talk about 5 people to look for as you begin your climb toward the dream job… Two that you talk about are Mentors and Producers… You said: you! No one is sitting around thinking about how they can help you find their dream job.
  • What are some intentional things people can do to get noticed by mentors and producers?
  • In the book you say, In order to get help, you need to be the kind of person people want to help! Be a learner!….Can you talk about having a willingness to learn and be teachable?
  • A theme I saw throughout the book is a willingness to be patient, can you talk about patience and what you’ve learned about it through your journey?
  • In the book, you also talk about 5 places that everyone can expect to encounter on their climb… You made a statement, “Every place matters!” Can you talk about the importance of valuing every place?”
  • Anything else you want to leave leaders with today

If this podcast helped you and you believe it could help others, please share it on social media and consider leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Also, we would love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Leave a comment below!

The post 222: Ken Coleman on The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to a Career You Love appeared first on L3 Leadership.

  
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Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with L3 Founder, Doug Smith. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Doug,  check out our show notes.

Doug Smith: 00:00 And here’s what I want you to know about a season of growth. What got you to where you are will not get you to where you need to be in the next season. I’ll say that again. What got you to where you are right now is not going to be enough to get you to where you need to be in the next season or on the other side of the season of growth. This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 221.

Doug Smith: 00:33 What’s up everyone and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well in today’s episode. You’ll hear me teach a lesson on the seven things you need to do when you’re in an intense season of growth and I think it will add a lot of value to you, but before we dive into that, just a few announcements for you. First, I just want to encourage you, thank you so much for listening to the podcast and if you enjoy it, it would mean the world to me if you’d subscribe and share this podcast with another leader that you would think it would add value to and you can also share it on social media, that would mean a lot to me as well. And I wanted to do something new this week. I want to thank our listener of the week.

Doug Smith: 01:08 This is someone that has left a review on iTunes and I want to do this every episode when I can. And if we share your review here on the podcast, I will send you a gift card to Amazon. And so this week’s listener of the week is Seemosteight from iTunes and they said, “Doug Smith does an excellent job of providing value in a powerful and effective manner. There’s no fluff. I’ve learned so much from Doug’s lessons, interviews and guest speakers. If you’re looking to grow in your leadership abilities, this is a great resource for you.” So thank you so much Seemosteight for leaving that review on iTunes. And if you’re listening to this, it would mean the world to me if you would leave a rating and review on iTunes as well. And if you do and we select to read yours on the podcast, we will send you an Amazon gift card as a thank you to you.

Doug Smith: 01:53 I also want to thank our sponsor, Alex Tulandin, Alex as a friend and a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty. Then if you’re looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love to have an opportunity to connect with you. If you want to learn more about Alex, you can go to Pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com with that being said, let’s dive right into the episode and the lesson and I will be back at the end with a few announcements. Hey everyone today I’d like to talk to you on the subject, seven things to do when you’re in an intense season of growth, seven things to do when you’re in an intense season of growth. Let’s dive right into this and I want to start by asking you a question.

Doug Smith: 02:33 And the question is this, when is the last time you were in a season that you knew you had to grow? When is the last time you were in a season that you knew you had to grow? And here’s a better question. Are you in one of those seasons now? Are you currently in a season of growth? And if not, I want to challenge you. Maybe you need to check your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve been comfortable for far too long and you need to shake things up a bit in order to get into another season of growth. I know for me personally, I am in a huge season of intense growth right now. Last year I got promoted at my job and I became the director of development at Light of Life Rescue Mission. And that has definitely gotten me out of my comfort zone and into an intense season of growth.

Doug Smith: 03:10 But here’s what I knew when I got promoted. I didn’t realize how comfortable I was in the last season and I was comfortable and I didn’t even know it. And, and sometimes I think we can just drift for years while being comfortable and not even know it and not grow as much as we could be if we were in, in a season of growth in. I’m not saying that there aren’t seasons where we won’t be comfortable for a period of time, but I truly believe if we’re going to grow to our maximum potentials, there should never be long seasons of life where we’re comfortable. We should consistently be being thrown into seasons of growth in our lives if we’re going to grow to our maximum potential. And so, but just something else that I think is interesting and that I’ve found through experience is that seasons of growth often come from seasons of transition.

Doug Smith: 03:54 Seasons of growth often come from seasons of transition. You know, for me in this season, my season of growth has come from a promotion. I have to go to another level, but maybe you’ve lost a job. That’s another transition. And instead of viewing the loss of a job as, as something negative and to be depressed about it, look at it as an opportunity. You know, oftentimes transitions are often opportunities to grow to another level in your development. And again, I’m a person of faith. And so if you’re a person of faith and you’re following God, I would encourage you, let God lead you through transition. I did a whole podcast lesson on transition back in the podcast. I don’t remember what episode number, but if you just Google L3 Leadership, what I’ve learned from seasons of transition, you’ll find it. I encourage you to listen to that.

Doug Smith: 04:36 But if you’re a person of faith, let God lead you. He knows what you need and he knows how you need to grow. And God is pretty good at getting us uncomfortable and the seasons of growth. And so seasons of growth often come from seasons of transition. Don’t be down about a season of transition. Be excited because there’s an opportunity to grow to another level, whether it was a promotion or you lost a job. So seasons of growth, again, come from seasons of transition and here’s what I want you to know about a season of growth. What got you to where you are will not get you to where you need to be in the next season. I’ll say that again. What got you to where you are right now is not going to be enough to get you to where you need to be and the next season or on the other side of this season of growth.

Doug Smith: 05:18 That’s why you need to grow. It’s a season of growth, so if that’s true, here’s what I know. If that is true then the books and the podcasts that you listened to in the last season of your life won’t necessarily get you to where you need to go in the next season. The people you surrounded yourself with in the last season aren’t necessarily the people that are going to be able to get you to where you need to be in the next season of your life through the season of growth. How about this? The systems that worked in the last season of your life aren’t going to be enough to get you to where you need to go in the next season if you’re going to grow. The mindsets that worked in the last season won’t get you to where you need to go in the next season. And so if all of this is true, then you’re going to have to grow intentionally to go to the next level.

Doug Smith: 06:02 And so more than anything, I want to encourage you, recognize and be realistic about when you’re in a season of growth and view it as an opportunity. It’s a challenge. Let’s go. Like I get excited about seasons of growth and sometimes it can be overwhelming and you know, is it scary? Yes. Is it going to be hard when you’re in a season of growth? Yes. Could you fail? Yes. Could you win? Yes. Could you grow? Yes. And is it going to be worth it? Absolutely. Yes. Yes, yes. It is going to be worth it. In fact, I believe one of the most exciting parts of life as the opportunity to make progress. There’s nothing more exciting and fulfilling than to be more today than you were yesterday. In every season of growth comes with the opportunity to become more and so why not embrace the season of growth instead of hiding from it and run away from it?

Doug Smith: 06:52 And so if we’re going to embrace this idea of seasons of growth, how do we actually make the most of our seasons of growth? And that’s what I want to spend the rest of this lesson on. I want to share with you seven things to do when you’re in an intense season of growth. How can you actually grow and adapt to the next level instead of staying where you are, seven things, let’s go. Number one, seek out experts in the areas that you need to grow in. Seek out experts in the areas that you need to grow in. I want to encourage you to make a list of 15 to 20 people who are doing what you’re going to be doing at the next, in the next season of your growth, but are doing it at a much higher level. For instance, I recently got promoted to the director of development in Light of Life.

Doug Smith: 07:29 It’s a rescue mission and so I’ve contacted rescue missions across the nation that are literally two three, four times the size of ours operating at a much higher level and I’ve set up phone appointments with their executive directors, with their directors of development and I set up these phone calls and I just learn as much as I can. I send them questions and I ask for their playbook, Hey, can you share with me your strategic plan for Development? Can you share with me the systems you have in place? Can you share with me what your org chart looks like? Cause I want to be able to grow into the next level that I need to grow into to take our organization to where it needs to go. So find 10 to 20 people who are doing what you’re doing at a higher level, set up calls and meetings with them, send them lists of questions in advance and ask for their playbook.

Doug Smith: 08:11 You’d be surprised what people are willing to share with you. And under the experts field or under the expert’s point, I would also add, get a coach. This is something I’m currently looking into, but I see it over and over and over again. I was actually just listening to a podcast with Tim Ferriss, interviewed Eric Schmidt, who was at Google for a long time and he just wrote a new book called Trillion Dollar Coach. And Eric had when he came to Google, the founders of Google basically told him he needed to get a coach and you know, he just kind of laughed and said, yeah, right. And they said, do you know one professional athlete or Olympic athlete that doesn’t have a coach? And he said, okay, and you got to coach. And actually, the coach really made an impact. I’m going to buy the book Trillion Dollar Coach.

Doug Smith: 08:50 It sounds like an amazing read. So we can this Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, but get a coach. Maybe you need to get a coach in the area to grow to the next level. The second thing I would tell you to do it in a season of growth is to get as much feedback as you can, get as much feedback as you can. And I just encourage you, maybe you need to ask your board for feedback on your leadership. Maybe you need to ask your boss or the leaders around you for feedback, your peers and your direct reports for feedback on how you’re growing and developing it and maybe even potential areas that you need to grow in, you know, blind spots. What do people see in you that you need to grow in? And I, I would just start off by asking the question, Hey, can you help me get better by giving me feedback?

Doug Smith: 09:30 And again, depending on who you’re asking, you may want to bring them information of, Hey, here’s my strategic plan, or here’s what I’m working on currently. Can you give me feedback? But do everything you can to get as much feedback as you can on ways you can grow and develop as a leader, as a manager, etc. Another, this is a helpful tool. Under this, but there’s a tool called the predictive index that we’ve been using it Light of Life and I absolutely love it. And if you’re ever interested in the Predictive Index or you’re getting this, feel free to email me at Dougsmith@l3leadership.org and I’d be glad to connect you with, Eric Guy who does the Predictive Index for us, but they have a tool in there. It’s called the manager report and it’s actually a scorecard for your management that you go over with your direct reports and it allows them to give you feedback, in a really systematic way that will help you grow as a manager and help you give them what they need.

Doug Smith: 10:17 And it’s helped me grow immensely just going over that with our team. Other things you can do, you could also do a 360 report. You know, there are all kinds of tools and assessments out there to get feedback. So get as much feedback as you can, um, to be able to grow. The third thing I tell you to do, an intense season of growth is once you get feedback, you need to develop an intentional personal development plan. You need to develop an intentional personal development plan. You know, we said earlier that the podcast, the books, the people, etc, that you’ve surrounded yourself within the last season won’t be enough to help you grow to where you need to go in the next season. And so what do you need to do is as based on the feedback that you received and, just how you’re processing your growth, you need to come up with a new plan, a to develop a new intentional personal growth plan.

Doug Smith: 11:01 And so I just want to encourage you, you know, list out based on feedback and how you’re processing all the areas that you think you need to grow in. And then say, okay, if these are the areas I need to grow in, then what new books and podcasts do I need to read and listen to in order to level up in these areas? What new conferences do I need to go to, to, to learn and connect in these areas? What coaches can I surround myself with, what people can ask, surround myself within this new season around the areas that I want to grow in? And I just encourage you, be very specific and intentional and developing your personal development plan. Number four, the fourth thing you should do and an intense season of growth take time to reflect. Take time to reflect. I want to encourage you to journal.

Doug Smith: 11:42 If you don’t journal already, I did a podcast episode on this as well. Just look about three leadership, how to journal and you’ll find that. But I really wanna encourage you to journal a weekly about your progress in a season of growth. You know, write down things like how were you feeling, what areas are you growing in? What are you learning and what do you need to change? And I think just mentally getting that out of your mind and onto paper and processing that once a week is very, very healthy for your growth. And I think you’ll, you’ll get a lot out of that. I want to encourage you now, this is something I have not practiced. So I have not led by example in this, but I know it’s a need for me. But I want to encourage you to take a retreat, take a retreat, whether it’s one day or a weekend or a few days, but just get quiet and get alone and just think, again, I have not done this.

Doug Smith: 12:25 I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been encouraged to do this. And it’s actually one of my top 10 goals right now is to get this on the calendar. But I don’t know any leaders that I admire that are leading at a high level that don’t do this. And so take a retreat just to get away and think and process all the, all the ways you’re growing and how you need to grow and plan for your year, etc. And then I want to encourage you to schedule time weekly to think about the big picture and a plan. If you’ve never read Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he talks about having quadrant two days and just days where you actually spent time planning. I’m thinking through your values, relationship building, personal growth, just taking time to reflect. It’s not easy, the more you grow as a leader, the less time you have.

Doug Smith: 13:05 And it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day that we never take time to actually reflect. And I think if we add that into our personal growth plan, it will really help us in seasons of growth. Go to the next level. So take time to reflect. Number five, execute on what you’ve learned. Execute on what you’ve learned. So based on everyone’s feedback, based on your personal development plan and what you’re learning there based on what you’re learning from your reflection time and planning time, execute. Now it’s time to actually implement what you’re doing in a season of growth. And I just want to caution you, and this is more for people, like with my personality, I tend to be all or nothing and impulsive and I process out loud. And so you’re going to get a lot of feedback, then you’re going to get a lot of ideas on how to grow.

Doug Smith: 13:48 And if you’re like me, you’ll have a tendency to want to share all the ideas and all the feedback with everyone around you. You want to brain dump all the ideas on everyone. And you’ll try to implement a thousand new things at once. And I’ve done that. And the feedback I’ve received on that is that is not good. Not good at all. In fact, I’ve actually gotten the feedback from me personally that I can be to teachable. They literally, I’ll take everything everyone says and tried to do everything, which isn’t good. And so what I’m learning to do and what I would encourage you to do is take everything that you’re learning and reflect on it and get clear on a few things, right? A few things, you know, I would love to say, you know, five to 10, but the reality is it should be one to three things that you can actually work on and move forward with.

Doug Smith: 14:31 The big word here is focus, focus. And I’ve been hearing that from people since I was in third grade, right? Focus Doug, focus. But the more I grow, and in this season of growth, for sure I’m realizing how important focus is. And so execute on what you’ve learned, but don’t try to execute everything you’ve learned. Try to get clear on one to three things that you can apply and..

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In this episode, you’ll hear L3 Leadership Founder, Doug Smith, share 7 things you need to do when you’re in an intense season of growth.

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L3 Leadership Podcast Episode #221: 7 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE IN AN INTENSE SEASON OF GROWTH

ABOUT DOUG:

Doug is the Director of Development at Light of Life Rescue Mission, a non-profit that helps the homeless, in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the Founder of L3 Leadership, a company that connects and develops leaders through training, events, mastermind groups, and membership. He is also the host of the L3 Leadership podcast, where he has interviewed world-class leaders such as Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Les Parrott, Liz Wiseman, Mike Tomlin, and many others. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Laura. Together, they love family, personal growth, travel, working out, and serving others.

CONNECT WITH DOUG: LINKS MENTIONED: PEOPLE MENTIONED:

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The post #221: 7 Things to do When You are in an Intense Season of Growth appeared first on L3 Leadership.

  
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Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with Bobby Gruenewald. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Bobby,  check out our show notes.

Bobby Gruenewald: 00:00 Where your leadership has a resource and if you’re not working and figuring out how to grow it, if you’re not figuring out how to expand it, if you’re not taking risk with it, if you’re not applying it in a way that is purposeful and has meaning and direction to it, then you maybe squandering a resource that God’s entrusted you to steward.

Doug Smith: 00:20 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 220.

Doug Smith: 00:36 What’s up everyone and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well. And today’s episode you’ll hear my interview with Bobby Grunwald. If you’re unfamiliar with Bobby, he serves as the pastor and Innovation Leader at Life.Church and he is also the founder of the Youversion Bible App, which has been installed on more than 365 million devices, which is just incredible as one of the leading voices in the church on innovation in the use of technology. Bobby’s been featured in the New York Times tech crunch, CNN, and more. And prior to joining the Life.Church team in 2001, he started and sold two technology companies as well as served in an advisory capacities for various startups and venture capital funds. In the interview, you’ll hear us talk about entrepreneurship. We’ll talk about building on failure, and he actually shares the story of the Youversion Bible App and how it was actually a failure when it started.

Doug Smith: 01:26 And what they did with that and what they learned. A, it’s such a good story. You need to hear it. As a leader, we talk about creating empowering cultures. Bobby served under that pastor Craig Rochelle for years now, and he talks about the empowering culture that Craig has created and he gives us advice on how leaders can do the same. And we talk about so much more. You’re going to love this interview, but before we dive into the interview, just a few announcements. First, I just want to say thank you so much for listening to the podcast and if this podcast has added value to your life, it would mean the world to me if you would subscribe to the podcast and share it with another leader that you think it would add value to. Part of our goal here at L3 Leadership is to add as much value as we can to leaders and so one way we do that is through this podcast and so when you share it with other leaders that helps us fulfill our mission.

Doug Smith: 02:11 So thank you in advance for sharing this with another leader who needs it. And I also want to thank our sponsor Alex Tulandin. Alex is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty and if you’re looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy, he’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love to have an opportunity to connect with you. You can learn more about alex at Pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com. With that being said, let’s dive right into the interview with Bobby and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements. Let’s dive right, Bobby, thank you so much for being willing to do this interview. And can you just start us off with just a 30 second brief introduction of who you are and what you do?

Bobby Gruenewald: 02:48 Sure. My name’s Bobby Grunwald and I’m the pastor and innovation leader at Life Church. We’re based in Oklahoma City. My background is in business. I was an entrepreneur before I came on staff, several years ago at the church and I’m also known as the founder of Youversion Bible App.

Doug Smith: 03:06 That’s amazing. By the time you were 22-years-old, you actually, I had grown and sold a web company and that is not too typical for a 22-year-old. And so I’m actually curious about your upbringing. You know, we live in a world where everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. So I think one question I have about your upbringing, do you think entrepreneurs, something you’re born with and it’s a gifting or is it something you can actually learn, grow and develop?

Bobby Gruenewald: 03:29 Well, you know, it’s interesting. I do think that there are attributes that entrepreneurs have that are probably things that they’re born with. I don’t know if there are things that I’m sure he could try to teach them. I don’t know if they would have the same instincts. However, the second part of question I think is also true that I do think you can grow and develop them. You know, over time, meaning you might be born in some basic instincts and attributes, but like anything else, there’s learning and development and a process I think really helps to hone and make it better. As far as my upbringing, I grew up in a middle to lower class, middle family and it was a really an environment that I think I was able to thrive in. My parents were amazing. They had me pretty well grounded and connected in the church.

Bobby Gruenewald: 04:19 But I didn’t become a follower of Jesus until between my eighth and ninth grade year. That’s when I really understood and developed a faith of my own, not just something that kinda heard at church, but something that really became real and really transformative. What’s interesting about the entrepreneurial spirit or even creative spirit in that, is I actually cannot remember a single time before I became a follower of Jesus that I was innovative or that I was applying that kind of creativity to solve problems or it’s really interesting. I can remember have memories before that, but I just don’t have any that are specific to that. So I don’t know for sure, but it could be that God kind of ignited those gifts inside of me at the moment that I became a follower of Jesus, or at least it seems like they got they woke up if they were there before, because the very first thing that I felt like I needed to do is figure out how to tell my friends about Jesus.

Bobby Gruenewald: 05:20 And in doing that, I wanted to, I had to think creatively about it. You know, I started thinking about what am I friends into, how can I communicate in a way they’d understand? And they all listened to rap music. So I just thought, well, maybe I should write a rap song, you know, and talk about what’s happened. So I had no idea how to write a rap song, but I actually went on and not just wrote a rap song, but I ended up having a Christian rap ministry for five years. And, my parents, you know, were amazing in that, you know, they would allow this creativity and some of that to be something they encouraged. You know, we didn’t a lot of resources, but they did, you know, they were willing to invest a little bit and kind of helping me have some of the tools I needed for that music and to kind of do that.

Bobby Gruenewald: 06:06 I had to save up some of course, but, but they were just helpful in that effort or at least encouraging. And, then because we had this, rap group and this rap ministry, we would travel, in the summers. And, it really, even though he’s a minister, it really was a business. I mean, I had 15 people that I was leading that were traveling with us. We had, we had to make products and find things that people are interested in purchasing, you know, because that’s how we would survive as far as the revenue to kind of go from place to place. And, so looking back on it, it was this environment that was rich with development and learning in an entrepreneurial sense. I didn’t know that at the time. I wouldn’t even label it that at the time. But looking back on it, it was real foundational. I think some of the entrepreneurial thinking and, and skills that I honed and developed, they all happen during those high school years for me.

Doug Smith: 06:58 Do you have have any raps you can share with us?

Bobby Gruenewald: 07:00 You know, I, think I’ll have to save that for another time. You know, I haven’t done any pounds. I haven’t done any podcasts reps before, but you could maybe bring me out of retirement at an event or a conference, but I, I sometimes, I don’t know if this would be the right environment. I’d probably have too many people are tuning out of your show right now. So we want to keep going to keep them engaged.

Doug Smith: 07:22 A question I’d love to ask leaders is, you know, you’ve certainly accomplished a lot, but what do you wish people knew about your journey before we get into Bible App that they may not know?

Bobby Gruenewald: 07:33 I think, there, there are some people that, presumed that I had kind of all this experience in technology that I’m sort of trained in that level because the Bible App and things like that, I think lead people to believe that then I’ve, really skilled, you know, in that area. I’ve always viewed my journey as being this process of discernment. I’m just trying to be aware of where God’s leading me and most of the, in fact, all of the significant things that I’ve seen happen in my life that God’s done, have happened whenever I’ve simply been able to recognize his voice and, pivot from the direction I was heading to one that was clearly someplace that he was leading. And, so it’s always been kind of these what seems like, relatively small steps of faith that we’re, we’re listening to his voice that turned into the bigger things that people may or may be aware of today. And so I think it’s just kind of yeah, just helping people understand that there were kind of small beginnings to all of these things and, that and that it was just about being obedient and stepping into it. Is it really my journey? It’s a really simple equation. Unfortunately. I don’t always get it right, but the times that I have, God’s done incredible things.

Doug Smith: 08:57 Yeah. You mentioned that you didn’t code in and don’t have as much technical, and I’ve actually heard you talk about that, you know, a lot of people assume that you coded the Bible App and you didn’t, however you did find people to carry out that vision. Can you talk to leaders about that? Cause I think it’s so important. Can you talk about finding the right who I think too often we think we have to have all the answers or be able to, execute the vision ourselves? But clearly, that hasn’t been the case for you.

Bobby Gruenewald: 09:19 Yeah, I think it’s a real inhibitor for a lot of leaders, especially ones that have ideas and vision is that they, they oftentimes fall in this trap of feeling like they have to be the ones to do everything. And in some cases, leaders actually feel like they have to be the ones that have the ideas. And that’s not necessarily the case either. I mean there are some people that are, would be great at leading something, but, but bad at coming up with the idea, that there are others that they could benefit from having around them that maybe are gifted, are skilled in that area. So I think probably first is just self self-awareness, recognizing what you’re good at and what you’re not good at and then realizing that, you know, we have others that we can, that can bring those skill sets and God always provides.

Bobby Gruenewald: 10:01 I’ve found he’s always provided his resources to his vision. So if I’m pursuing what he wants me to do, then I have to be too concerned about him putting the right people in my path at the right time to do it. My role has always been, you know, taking an idea, one that we’ve, you know, a vision that we’ve kind of honed or really believe that God’s leading in and then casting vision for it to others. And so when I’m trying to find the right people, I’m, casting vision to the Uber driver. I mean, I’m trying to figure out, you know, is this, somebody’s got to put in my path that might catch this, you know, might have something to contribute, you know, to it. And that’s a lot of times how it’s happened, you know, it’s not always, I don’t even always know who the person is going to be, or who the people might be that God would use.

Bobby Gruenewald: 10:46 They come in my path and I’m just, I’m just there kind of conveying a message of vision of what it takes. Some cases asking them to do this at early on with Youversion and I was asking people to do it, essentially for no pay or just like an extra thing, you know, is that they were going to do on top of what they’re already doing. And I think, I just encourage leaders to not get so hung up on the I don’t have this, I don’t have that. I don’t have a team that does this. I mean, nearly every single example of significant things that God’s done in and through my life have all been examples that started with not having those things. And, I think in some ways, it allows God to be seen in the story as opposed to just simply making sense because, you know, it’s like, well, of course, that makes sense. If you had that kind of money or you had that kind of team, then you could build that kind of thing. And I think God is like, no, no, no. I want you to understand that I do that when you don’t have all those things. That’s kind of me showing up. And that’s how, you know, it’s me.

Doug Smith: 11:44 I love that. I do want to talk about the Youversion Bible App. And so a lot of people probably know the APP. It seems like it’s been a huge success, but you said that initially failed. And so can you share that story and what you learned about failure through that?

Bobby Gruenewald: 11:58 Yeah. So we, the original idea for your virgin came in the O’Hara airport in Chicago in October of 2006. It was a long security line that I was in. And I was just processing that day. I wonder if there’s a way that we could use technology in a way that can help me engage in scripture. I, I’ve wanted to be more engaged in the Bible than I was and I just had this disconnect with the format and the way it was. So I thought in the security line that they, I thought of this idea that became Youversion and the original idea was for a website and without describing all the details of how the website worked, we thought it was like a novel idea for how people could connect media to scripture on this website. And we, we labored over the course of, a year or part of a year in 2007 to build it.

Bobby Gruenewald: 12:52 I mean there are, I won’t do it justice to kind of describe it so succinctly, but basically there was enormous amount of work that went into getting the rights to the Bible text that went into, not, you know, having a lot of resources are really almost no resource to work with, but just, you know, trying to move as fast as we could to get this website launched. And so when the website launched, we were just thrilled to be able to have it out there. And that was September 2007, but by December, just a few months later, it became apparent that even though we managed to get people to it, we couldn’t keep people coming to it. And in fact, we could even keep ourselves coming to it. We were only using it because we built it and it became apparent to me, and you know, that we, that this didn’t work, that this idea, um, the website technically worked, but the idea of it, how it was going to help us engage with scripture just wasn’t working.

Bobby Gruenewald: 13:43 And as a leader, you know, it’s really easy to, it’s really easy to let your pride and ego and all of these things kind of get wrapped up into something that you spent all this energy creating and you’ve got what your team is thinking about you and what others that you’ve proclaimed this big vision to are going to think about your, you know, thinking about you the next time you come with a big vision, for example. Like how are they going to feel? And so it’s real easy to kind of have all the emotion around that involved. And that definitely was the case for me then. I mean, I was feeling all of those things, but we had already built into our culture even before that, that we have a willingness to fail. And I was grateful for that because of that kind of being built into our culture.

Bobby Gruenewald: 14:29 it put us in a position where it wasn’t a question about whether or not we were going to pretend that we weren’t. We knew that we had that this idea didn’t work and because we were willing to fail, we were willing to shut it down, which we were planning to do in January and we wanted to process and learn everything we could learn about why we think it failed. Because if we’re going to fail, we want to learn from it. We want to get what we can, get the education out of it that we could, and it was through that process that we realized that we thought one of the key elements was that this experience needed to be on our blackberries, on our mobile devices at the time. And it was, it seemed very simple and very basic, but it fundamentally changed how we engaged in scripture where it wasn’t just on our nightstand.

Bobby Gruenewald: 15:14 We had to go to a certain place to connect to scripture, but it was with us everywhere we went. And that one little shift that we made in early 2008 positioned us to be ready when Steve Jobs announced just a few weeks later that they were going to make it possible develop apps for the iPhone and create this thing called an app store. So because we were in that position, that kind of ready position learning what we had learned, we moved really quickly, we built an APP for the iPhone, had no idea of apple would approve it, but they did in July of 2008 on the day that the APP store launched, the Bible App was in the first 200 free..

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In this episode, you’ll hear L3 Leadership Founder, Doug Smith, interview Bobby Gruenewald, Founder of the YouVersion Bible App.

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L3 Leadership Podcast Episode 220: Bobby Gruenewald

ABOUT BOBBY:

Bobby Gruenewald serves as Pastor, Innovation Leader at Life.Church and is the founder of the YouVersion Bible App, which has been installed on more than 365 million devices. As one of the leading voices in the Church on innovation and the use of technology, Gruenewald has been featured in The New York Times, TechCrunch, CNN, and more. Prior to joining the Life.Church team in 2001, he started and sold two technology companies as well as served in advisory capacities for various startups and venture capital funds. Gruenewald and his wife, Melissa, live in Edmond, Oklahoma with their four children.

CONNECT WITH BOBBY: LINKS MENTIONED: PEOPLE MENTIONED: KEY TAKEAWAYS:
  • If I’m pursuing what He wants me to do, I don’t have to be too concerned about Him putting the right people in my path at the right time to do it.
  • When I’m trying to find the right person, I’m casting vision to the Uber Drive! Anyone could be a fit!
  • Don’t get hung up on what resources you don’t have.
  • Nearly every example of every significant thing that God has done with my life has not started with the resources needed. It allows God to be seen in the story.
  • We built into the culture that we have a willingness to fail.
  • Had we not been willing to fail, we would have not been positioned to move when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone.
  • What drew me to Life.Church was the mission.
  • Pastor Craig Groeschel delegates authority, not tasks. If you do the opposite, you’ll create followers, not leaders.
  • As a leader, if things aren’t where you’d like them to be, that often comes back to you as the leader.
  • You have to be self-aware as a leader. Be aware of where your insecurities are holding you back.
  • To create an empowering culture, you’re going to have to take risks on people.
  • In order for you to grow, for them to grow, and your organization to grow, you need to take risks on people.
  • Over time, those risks have payoffs. The downsides are real, but the upsides are even better. You’ll see people thrive, grow, and accomplish more than you ever thought was possible.
  • Squandering the gifts and resources that God has given you is one of the most unacceptable things possible.
  • Your leadership is a resource.  If you are not figuring out how to grow it,  expand it, take risks with it, or apply it in a purposeful and meaningful way, then you may be squandering a resource that God has entrusted you to steward.
  • In the same way that God gave your resources and gifting to you, He could give them to someone else instead.

If this podcast helped you and you believe it could help others, please share it on social media and consider leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Also, we would love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Leave a comment below! 

The post 220: Building on Failure, Creating Empowering Cultures, and Stewarding Your Leadership with Bobby Gruenewald, Founder of the YouVersion Bible App appeared first on L3 Leadership.

  
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Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with L3 Founder, Doug Smith. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Doug,  check out our show notes.

Doug Smith: 00:00 Don’t judge anyone’s leadership. Don’t judge their season of life and don’t judge their relationship skills and most likely if there’s any other areas that you’re judging people in, stop. If you see areas of lack and people, here’s what you do. Number one, give them grace. You want to know why? Because there’s a thousand areas that you could be judged in as well. There’s a thousand areas that you’re, falling short as well and so give people grace. Nobody is perfect. This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 219.

Doug Smith: 00:37 Hey everyone, and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well. In today’s episode. You’ll hear me share a lesson on the six biggest mistakes that I’ve made in my leadership journey so far, but before we dive into that, I just have a few brief announcements. I want to thank our sponsor Alex Tulandin. Alex is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty, and if you were looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love to have an opportunity to connect with you. You can learn more about alex@pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com I also want to thank our sponsor, Henne Jewelers. They’re a jeweler, owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife Laura, and I got our engagement and wedding rings through Henny jewelers and we just think they’re an incredible organization. Not only do they have great jewelry, but they also invest in people. In fact, they give every engaged couple of book to help them prepare for marriage and we just love that. And so if you’re in need of a good jeweler, check out Hennejewelers.com with that being said, let’s dive right into the lesson, enjoy it, and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements.

Doug Smith: 01:39 Hey everyone. Today, I’d like to talk to you about the six biggest leadership mistakes that I’ve made so far in my journey. And before we get started, I’ll just say this, that I’ve made millions of mistakes up to this point in my journey so far and I’m sure I’ll make millions more. But as I reflected on my journey, the mistakes that I’m sharing today are the ones that have been the most significant and have caused the most significant growth in my life. And so I thought they would add the most value to you. And my hope is when you listen to this lesson that you will learn from some of my mistakes and not make them yourself, that would be my hope. So let’s dive right into this. The first mistake that I made in my leadership journey was I judged the leaders ahead of me.

Doug Smith: 02:15 I judged the leaders ahead of me. I judge the leaders in three specific areas that I’ll share with you. The first was their actual leadership. I would say things like, well, if I had their job, I lead a thousand times better. And maybe you’ve made statements like that and maybe you’re actually thinking that in about a leader in your life right now. And here’s the questions that I thought asked myself and you need to ask yourself is, would you do a better job? And how do you actually know? And do you have any idea what it’s like to sit in their seat? Because the reality is you don’t, and you don’t know if you do better. The reality is until you sit in their seat or have a similar position, you have no idea how you would do or what you would do it.

Doug Smith: 02:52 And here’s an even harsher reality. You might do better. That’s true. You might be a better leader, you might take things to another level. But here’s the other reality. You might not, you might not be as good as you think you are or you might not be able to say to take it to the next level. And so stop judging people’s leadership. The second area I  judged leaders’ lives in was people seasons of life. Now, this was mostly in my twenties, but I remember, you know, looking up to leaders in their thirties who started to have children and a balanced work life a little differently. And I thought they were lazy. If they had to leave work a little bit early to go pick up their kid or be with their kid, I would just thought, man, they’re lazy or they’re not a great leader.

Doug Smith: 03:28 They’re not willing to do whatever it takes. That was dumb. I would just say that that was dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. And you know, when I stopped judging people, people seasons of life when I had kids, and that was my new season of life. And now I don’t judge anyone in any season of their life. I’m just going to say that. So stop judging, have empathy, have empathy for people and the season of life that they’re in. Because unless you’ve experienced it, you have no idea what it’s like to go through their season. And the third area that I judge people in a was their relational skills. You know, I would look to, to leaders who weren’t as good relationally or didn’t have as much emotional intelligence. And I would say, well, if they don’t know how to lead people, they don’t how to coach people in a loving way.

Doug Smith: 04:09 But the reality was that it’s really hard to lead and manage people even if you’re good with people. In fact, I would argue sometimes it’s actually harder to lead and manage people if you’re good with people. Because as I’ll share in a future mistake, you could be a people pleaser and so you won’t lead people when you have to lead them because you value the relationship. But I’ll get into that in a minute. So I judged people’s leadership. I judged people seasons of life and I judged people’s relational skills as leaders. And here’s what I learned about that. Mistake number one, I read this quote recently, I love this. “Judging a person just does not define who they are. It defines who you are.” “Judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are.” Just dwell on that for a few minutes.

Doug Smith: 04:50 And the lesson here is simple. Don’t judge anyone’s leadership. Don’t judge their season of life and don’t judge the relationship skills and most likely, if there are any other areas that you’re judging people in, stop. If you see areas of lack of people, here’s what you do. Number one, give them grace. You want to know why? Because there are a thousand areas that you could be judged in as well. There are a thousand areas that you’re, you’re falling short as well, and so give people grace. Nobody is perfect. Number two, here’s a novel thought, and I’ll talk about this in another mistake, but have conversations with them about it. Do you know that they may the, Oh, I shouldn’t say they may. I know leaders have blind spots and they, you know why they don’t. They call them blind spots because they don’t know about them because their blind spots, and so you, through having a conversation with them about their leadership or an area that they’re struggling in, may enlighten them and may help them grow to the next level in their leadership.

Doug Smith: 05:40 So have hard conversations. And number three, fill in their gaps. Fill in their gaps. Do you know why you’re judging people? You’re judging people because you probably are judging people in the areas of your strength. That’s what I know, and they’re probably not as strong in those areas as you are. But here’s what I want you to know. Do you know that that’s probably why you’re on staff there and that you can fill in their gaps as a leader, if you see gaps in leaders’ lives, fill them in. You’re probably strong where they’re weak. So make up for that. Make up for that and help them grow in that area. But fill in the gap. And the second lesson I learned with this mistake is it’s easy to judge people when you’re not the leader. But here’s what I know. One day you might be the leader and when you are the leader, people are going to have a tendency to want to judge you and just imagine how that will feel if you were in that seat.

Doug Smith: 06:27 Have empathy for leaders. One of my favorite stories was I interviewed Clint Hurdle and the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in a pursuit number 123 of the podcast. And I highly recommend that listening to that. It’s one of my favorite interviews that I’ve ever done. But it, Clint said when he became a manager for the first time in the major leagues, he caught every manager he ever had an apologized to them, but why? Because he realized what it actually took to sit in that seat. And it’s really easy to judge when you’re not in the seat, but, once you sit in it, you have all of the empathy in the world. So stop judging people. That was the biggest, one of the biggest mistakes that I’ve made in my journey. The second mistake that I made in my leadership journey is not knowing how to have hard conversations, not knowing how to have hard conversations.

Doug Smith: 07:10 And I just, I recently did an entire lesson, in episode number 204 of the podcast on how to have hard conversations. I’ve gotten all kinds of feedback on how helpful that podcast episode has been. So if you haven’t listened to that and you struggle with this, I can’t recommend listening to that highly enough. I share everything I’ve learned about having hard conversations. And again, that’s an episode number 204 and it’s just called how to have hard conversations. But I’ll just say this about the mistake that I made because I didn’t know how to have hard conversations in my leadership journey I judged people and I was really passive aggressive. I’d hold a lot of anger and bitterness inside and frustration. And so as a result, instead of going to the person, I would gossip and I’d gather everyone around me and turn people against the leader.

Doug Smith: 07:53 It was just horrible. I had no empathy. I gave no grace. I showed no mercy. I was constantly frustrated with the people I was judging. And here’s probably the biggest thing about this mistake is I never actually solved the problem because I didn’t know how to have hard conversations. And until I learned to have hard conversations, I never solved everything. And I just went into the circle of frustration. It was horrible. And so the lesson here is to learn how to have conversations, stopped bottling things up and deal with it. And again, I encourage you to listen to the takeaway is listening to episode 204, and start having the hard conversations that you need to have. The third mistake that I made in my leadership journey, and to be honest with you, this is the biggest area of growth in my leadership journey right now.

Doug Smith: 08:36 But it’s being a people pleaser. It’s being a people pleaser. The reason this is my biggest leadership challenge is I love people. I’m naturally a people person and all the personality tests that I take, it’s like, you know, highly, highly, highly relational and I always believe the best in people. But here’s what I know. And John Maxwell says this, he said, you can’t lead people if you need people. You can’t lead people if you need people. And if you’re naturally a people pleaser, this is going to be a long, a season of growth. But I’m telling you that it’s worth it. And, I had a mentor in my life actually tell me, because I’m a people pleaser. He actually told me about my leadership journey and I’ve seen this happen. He said, Doug, you’re, you’ll lie to people and you won’t lie to people intentionally, you won’t want to you.

Doug Smith: 09:25 And in fact, sometimes you won’t even know you’re doing it, but because you want to please people, you’ll tell them what they want to hear instead of being honest with them. And so be aware of that and learned to be self-aware around that. And that’s an area that I’ve really had to pay attention to. Am I just telling thing people things that they want to hear or am I telling them what they need to hear? Something that’s significantly helped me in this area, recently, I was in a leadership meeting at our are a organization and one of the other leaders, spoken to my life and he said, this is a little faith-based, but he was speaking about a book he was reading and uh, about Jesus and the Bible. And Philippians chapter two it says that Christ Jesus, the son of God, laid down his privileges as the son of God to come to earth and basically was no longer the son of God, right?

Doug Smith: 10:11 He laid down his privilege to become human. And he talked about we need to think about our privileges in life. And he said, Doug, you’re privileges in life and you may not even view it as this is that people like you, people like you, and it’s really easy for people to like you and you’re highly relational and it’s very easy for you to build relationships, but in leadership, maybe you need to lay down your privilege of being liked for doing what’s best for the organization and for doing what’s best for the individual. And, and that was a game changer to me. And he said, Doug, I see you in, in leadership meetings and you start to push people. You start to challenge people. You start to be honest with people until you feel like the relationship is in jeopardy until it gets uncomfortable relationally.

Doug Smith: 10:55 And then he said, then you either make a joke or change the subject. He said, keep pressing on that key pressing on it because it’s the most beneficial thing you could do for someone is to be honest with them and help them grow and develop. And so the things that, the lesson in this mistake and, and things that I’m processing in this area or this, I have to ask myself, what is in the best interest of the people I am leading? What is in the best interest of the people I’m leading? And it’s always to be honest with people. I love what Leslie Braksick said. She’s been on the podcast. She said, if you’re not being promoted, it’s likely that you’re missing a piece of feedback that someone hasn’t given you. And the reality is, as a leader, I usually have feedback that will help people go to the next level.

Doug Smith: 11:35 But I often lack the courage because I’m a people pleaser and don’t want to jeopardize the relationship. But if I’m going to do what’s most beneficial for the people I’m leading, then I’m going to be honest with them. And a quote that’s been a game changer for me in this area. The last year’s Brene Brown, she said clearest, kind, unclear, is unkind, clearest, kind, unclear is unkind. And so I’m doing everything I can to lead people, to be clear with them and to tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear in this area. And the second question that I’m asking is, what is in the best interest of the organization? Not just what’s in the best interests of the individuals, but that, do you know, I shouldn’t say, do you know what I’m learning is there’s times where you have to put the organization ahead of the person.

Doug Smith: 12:15 If a person isn’t the right fit to move the organization forward, it may be time for them to move on. And that might be the most beneficial thing for them. And it might be the most beneficial thing for the organization. But if you’re a people pleaser like me, these are challenging issues. And so I’m doing everything I can in this season of my life to learn to lead people and not need people. But it’s very, very challenging. But that’s a mistake that’s costing me multiple times, but I’m learning to grow through it. The fourth mistake that I made in my leadership journey, and I’m sure every leader’s guilty of this, but just it’s doing everything myself and being afraid to ask for help, doing everything myself and being afraid to ask for help. I think as leaders, this is a challenge for everyone. I think a lot of us, we start off our careers getting things done and executing.

Doug Smith: 13:01 However, and I’ve reached this point in my life, we get to a point, if we continue to grow, we get to a point where we can no longer do everything ourselves. It becomes unsustainable. And so we’re forced to ask for help. Unfortunately, I waited until I was forced to ask for help until I needed help because there was nothing else because I couldn’t do everything. But if I could go back and, really just challenge myself, I would have asked for help sooner. I would have gotten a team around me quicker and I would have been willing to pay for help quicker. It just would have saved me so much. So, stopped doing everything yourself and start asking for help. That was a big mistake that I made. The fifth mistake that I made in my leadership journey was thinking in silos, thinking in silos.

Doug Smith: 13:44 Too often in my leadership journey, I thought about my job or my department instead of thinking about the organization. I love what Craig Rochelle said. He said, start thinking like an owner, not like an employee. Start thinking like an owner, not an employee. And here’s what I thought about it says I’m a wrote employees focus on their job and their job only, but owners think about everything in the organization. And so the progression that I needed to make quicker than I did not make in my leadership journey quick enough and I’m certainly there now. But first I asked the two often, how can I make my job better? And that’s everyone’s role. Clearly, you want to do a good job, how can I do my job better? And you want to do as good as you can, but as a leader, you don’t want to just think, how can I do my job better?

Doug Smith: 14:28 You want to start to think, well, how can I make our department better? How can I make our department better? And that should be on your radar. Hey, in addition to my job, what can I do? What can I say that will make our department better? And then as you continue to grow in your leadership journey, how you should think on a daily basis is how can I make our organization better? Not just how can I do my job well and how can I make my job better? Not Just my department and what I can do for them, but hey, how can I make our organization better? You need to think like that. But too often in my leadership journey in..

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In this episode, you’ll hear L3 Leadership Founder, Doug Smith, share the top 6 mistakes he has made in his leadership journey.

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L3 Leadership Podcast Episode 219_ 6 Mistakes I’ve Made in Leadership

ABOUT DOUG:

Doug is the Director of Development at Light of Life Rescue Mission, a non-profit that helps the homeless, in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the Founder of L3 Leadership, a company that connects and develops leaders through training, events, mastermind groups, and membership. He is also the host of the L3 Leadership podcast, where he has interviewed world-class leaders such as Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Les Parrott, Liz Wiseman, Mike Tomlin, and many others. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Laura. Together, they love family, personal growth, travel, working out, and serving others.

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The post 219: 6 Mistakes I’ve Made in Leadership with Doug Smith, Founder of L3 Leadership appeared first on L3 Leadership.

  
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