Behind the Billboard
(0:00:20) KL: Hey, it’s Kris Lindahl back with you again on Behind the Billboard. I am with one of my really good friends, mentors, and coach, Jon Cheplak. So today, we are just going to have a little bit of a conversation around some of the things I have seen in business. I think it is not the things that you are going to think, so you are not going to want to miss this episode. We just actually finished Cheplak Mastermind, so we have a lot of really good takeaways that we are going to share today, so I just want to introduce you, Jon, to the Behind the Billboard Podcast. What we are trying to do here is we are trying to go behind the marketing and we are trying to focus on the leadership. I have watched you from afar. I have watched you close, and we have become really good friends, and so when you look at leadership, what are those 2-3 things that you think about that make the difference in a true leader?
(0:01:05) JC: Well, I think the number one thing is being believable. You’ve got to be believable. People are so concerned with “what is it going to look like,” so to be believable though, sure, there’s an appearance, but what does it feel like to people? So, it is being believable. Being focused on what it is going to feel like when people have the experience of your leadership, and, you know, the foundation of being believable is people showing or seeing that you, on a consistent basis are an actual committed individual.
(0:01:35) KL: We talked about this after I got done speaking and as you did a recap on what I said, I think one of the really big things is like, you said Kris, he doesn’t just say these things, he lives is. So to be believable, I think you have to actually live it, right? So, for those that follow you, and follow Jon Cheplak on Facebook, you are walking right alongside of us, and what your words are, are your actions are at the same time. I think that is what a lot of people miss is all of the sudden, we want to be a leader, or we think we are a leader, or we are running a business and we get in front of everyone, and we give this great canned speech and get everyone inspired, but we don’t follow any of the words we are actually speaking. You have worked with business leaders all over the country of all different sizes, what are some of those things that really make a difference in a great leader?
(0:02:25) JC: Absolutely. Well, first of all, it is the understanding that no one is inspired. You have to have an acceptance, otherwise you are just projecting. No one is inspired by your to-do list. What I mean by that is if there is not ownership of the action steps that you want someone to take and the outcomes that you want, 99% of the time, you are never going to get a result. So what do I know about really good leaders? That top 1%. They understand, that the number one way to get a human being to make a choice, make a change, move into higher productivity is through self-discovery. That is an easy term to throw out there, but the cool thing about our relationship we are always about like, “okay, let’s go layers deeper.” We were laughing about that with Mastermind. What’s it mean? Here’s what it means. You’re going to have to be willing to slow down the process to speed up the action and the outcome. Slow down the process to speed up the action and the outcome. Now, what does that mean? What it means is telling someone what to do is quick and easy, but let us know how that one has been working out for you. It doesn’t.
(0:03:44) KL: No, it doesn’t work at all. It is always interesting because we talk to all of these business leaders, and you mentioned asking questions, and most people aren’t willing to either answer those questions or get vulnerable. It’s the same consistent things over and over and over again. The thing that I love about the work that you are doing is, we were just talking about a good mutual friend of ours, and where that person is today, versus where that person was a year and a half ago is a completely different place, and so what types of things, when you see those breakthroughs start to happen, what types of things are they willing to commit to, to get better and start to have those breakthroughs?
(0:04:28) JC: Sure, well I think again, before, what they are willing to commit to, it is accepting the truth and the principles and understanding that people don’t choose with their mind, they choose with their heart. The heart chooses, and the mind justifies. It is an understanding of that, and then a commitment to do the work that people totally ignore. The personal development work. The commitment to accept everything that is happening around them is a result of them. If you want to be a leader and you are going to pick and choose the outcomes that you are responsible for, and those you are not and want to blame people, you are not a leader. Personal responsibility is number one.
(0:05:07) KL: Yeah, personal responsibility. It is always fun to be around people who own their mistakes and are willing to get vulnerable and share, like, “this wasn’t right. I need to fix this. I need to step up. Here’s where we are going to go.” And so for the person we were talking about, that is exactly the transition I have watched happen and I think for what I have seen over the years of so many organizations is a lot of the people running these companies don’t want to do any of this. And there also aren’t many resources available to get better. I’ve asked a lot of those questions to a lot of different people, and it’s like what training are you doing? When you look at a business leader that is really performing at the highest level, what type of habits do they have?
(0:05:53) JC: A) They don’t just use the buzzwords, they actually live them. I think two of the biggest ones, and you and I talk about this all of the time in our interactions, transparency, vulnerability with a foundation of personal responsibility. I think people choose limits on what that transparency or vulnerability is. They have this line in the sand where they kind of want it to look like it but not actually live it, whereas, the great leaders, like yourself, you just did it recently, said, “okay, I need to look in the mirror.” If I am blaming somebody else for anything happening in the organization or the marketplace the problem is the mirror is at waist level and I need to pull it up. You always have the mirror at eye level and that is what great leaders do. Then, what you do is you say, “Okay, I am going to be transparent and vulnerable with everyone.” Most leaders say they are going to be but never are.
(0:06:43) KL: Right.
(0:06:44) JC: But then what you do in anything, is what is the first place you run to when there is anything in your organization and you see it, who are the first people you go to and tell, Kris?
(0:06:51) KL: I go right to our company, and like right to our company before it is even thought out.
(0:06:53) JC: And what percentage of leaders that you know that are peers, in your industry, for both you and I, and that’s (inaudible @ 7:01). We are smart enough to go, well I guess we just realize we need to go outside our industry and we operate with other organizations too and other CEOs. How many CEOs are going to go up in front of their people and say, “this is wrong. I am responsible, and this is what I am going to do about it”?
(0:06:56) KL: Yeah, and that’s what most don’t do. I’m on a constant journey alongside you as well as everyone else and just focused on everyday getting a little bit better than the day before. I think there aren’t many people that are willing to do that at all. One of the things that I have seen and really, really like is the way that you talk about and, you mentioned it earlier, the heart versus the mind. All of these things that we have talked about so far, all of it comes from the heart. If your heart is not in the right stop and you are not willing to open up your heart to these things, how do you take someone that is leading a business that is simply on a philosophy, or read some book, or listened to something online and they go to the whole company and they roll out this plan or this program, yet no one feels that emotion. No one feels like, “oh, they actually care about me and they are right next to me.” My question for you, is like, you talk about different styles of leadership and you’ve got top down, bottom up. How does someone open up their heart and lead? Like, you know that transition from the person that I mentioned earlier that is a great friend of ours, what steps can someone take who is listening right now to actually get vulnerable and start to open up the heart because it is not easy to do.
(0:08:25) JC: Well, there’s two parts. You and I both know this one, as well as those listening, is unfortunately pain is a really good motivator. Now, here is the bad news about pain, people will say this, but that’s pretty obscure, because everyone has a different pain tolerance. What has to happen is there has to be a level of pain; something has to be not working. There is the context of pain. It has to be someone who has an openness, which, many great leaders do, or people who end up being great, and the hope that you have been referred by someone, or you have a borrowed belief. If we are talking about this heart intelligence to you right now, and it’s like “oh, boy. Another kumbaya.” Well, feel free to reach out to Kris or myself, and we can share with you people that have made this change. In business, to go with this, we have stayed true to this since day one. When we talk about this, we are now seeing how it happens. So, I would say, number one, you have to have an open mind. If you have a closed mind then you are never going to get there. Number two, if you are in pain in your business, and “in pain” meaning things are not working out, people are leaving you or you are stuck, those are painful moments, then probably try something different. What I leave you with is this, coming back to it again, think about all of these things, and we’ve known about these as human beings, think about these quotes. “Her heart is in it.” “Her heart is not in it.” “He’s got heart.” “Heartbreak.” The language tells us so much about what is valuable and important to people as you are listening to this, think about all of the different quotes that have strength and power and teeth in them. They involve the heart.
(0:10:10) KL: Every one of them. We talk about the heart and one of the things that is fascinating about leading with the heart, and you see this in really good organizations, it’s the culture piece of it. Culture has kind of become this cliché thing, but it’s this big time thing. Everyone says, “oh, we’ve got great culture,” or “we want great culture,” or whatever you are seeking, but the best culture is where everyone is connected at the heart. It’s like you are having fun together. You are struggling together. You have good ups and downs. How do you take an organizations, and for some of those that are listening and are going “you know what, I haven’t been a great leader. I am not putting my heart out there.” How do you take your organization and transform it to an area or a place in your business where it becomes a lot more of that feminine energy? Like how do you take an organization and start to make those changes? I get that the leader has to make those changes, and I have an open mind, and I want to become better and become vulnerable, but how do you get your organization to start to take that direction?
(0:11:19) JC: First of all, you have to take that transparency and vulnerability that we are talking about and take it to a super, super high level. You have to get in front of your people and you have to make a declaration. You have to make a declaration and start up in front of them and acknowledge them and thank them for the love and support, and you need to use those words. You need to use the word love. So, gentlemen, put your man card away. It is gone. Sorry. You need to use those. Let’s just go into this. This is what Kris and I subscribe to. It is why we have such a great relationship. You need to run your organization on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It will tell you how to do it. It’s human beings. They are not Martians. They are not from a different planet. They are humans, so you need to use that. The words and create the experience of transparency. Thank them. Acknowledgment. “I want to acknowledge you for your trust in me and for being here.” Then go into transparency. “I want to be transparent with you and let you know to be a leader I need to constantly be growing.” The next thing you go to is belonging. How do people feel that they belong? Just by being heard. People don’t necessarily want what they ask for. It’s not demands people are giving you, they want to be heard. So then what I would do from an action step for leading a group of people, is go out and let people know, “I want to go to the next level, but I want this to be a bottom up experience. I want us to move together in a way where the heart is serving the whole. The whole is the organization. It is bigger than me, it is bigger than you, it is bigger than all of us. But, if we can do this collectively, in a spirit of volunteerism…” Those key words. But here is the thing, if you put words out there, like most leaders do, and don’t act on it, you’re twice as bad as you were.
(0:13:09) KL: One hundred percent. One thing you said that really stuck out to me at the Mastermind is the top down versus the bottom up. I think the listeners of our Podcast would really find value in explaining, or maybe giving examples of what bottom up actually looks like.
(0:13:19) JC: Sure! Bottom up looks like; first of all, I’ll go to vision. Here’s what I will tell you. The whole is bigger than the part. Each one of us contributes to this outcome and this journey and this process. It makes the organization healthy and it makes the culture healthy. When we look at bottom up versus top down, you as the leader, here’s my definition of vision. You are this frame. It is the most expensive antique frame that you can’t get because it is rare. And you have this expensive canvas that you can only buy in one country. You paint pictures, and tell stories and frame things to enroll people. Don’t tell them, just like I am painting the picture to you. You let them know, vision is a piece of art, and my job is to create you the frame and give you the canvas. I need each one of your brush strokes. If there was a brush stroke missing on the Mona Lisa, it would not be the Mona Lisa. Is the Mona Lisa something that you want to create, or do you want to create a substitute or a fake that has blotches in it or spots in it that are missing? I don’t know if that is the best analogy for you, but if you are passionate about it and you believe in it, it is a piece of art. Then how do you do it? As a leader, you have articulated where you want to go, but then you tell them, “but here is where I need your input.” “Let me know what has been working. Here is a document called the Feedback Loop, and know that this is a safe environment. Number one, please keep doing. Let me know what we are doing as an organization that really works. Number two, please stop doing. What are we doing that you absolutely do not like? Please keep doing, please stop doing. What did I start with? Please keep, please stop, please start. What do you see out there that is taking place that is place that maybe I am missing? You are down in the trenches and you see it. Then, collaboratively you come back together and maybe there are some great ideas from it, or maybe I close the loop with you and say “we are not doing this, because of that” and then it gives us clarity.
(0:15:37) KL: So one of the things that I have learned in our organization is that feedback, when you talk about bottom-up leadership, I am literally at the ground level of my entire company, and I have 60+ families that I am responsible for and every single thing that I do, I know that it impacts everyone in our organization. When I can take feedback from our organization and act upon improving it, I think that speed to action when you do get that feedback, people feel like you’re right there in the organization saying like, that’s not right that you’re either struggling, or I failed you, or whatever it may be. But I am willing to act so fast on the constructive feedback I get within our organization because those people and their families are the most important to me. So what gets in the way of leaders from acting on that feedback?
(0:16:29) JC: A lot of it is programming. A) Because the 10x, the grind, all the things that are sexy. But when we peel it back, we never hear about the 99.9% that really did never 10x or grind. Here’s the other thing that holds them back… them. To get people to go there, you have to be not only believable, you may be a great salesperson but there is a problem with secrets, there are none. What a leader has to do, and we are not talking about perfection, what a leader has to do is just have a willingness to know that the number one most important thing is not how to be a great business leader when I wake up, not how to scale in some new way, not some new ninja tactic, to wake up and say, “how can I be a better human being today?” That’s it. What I believe in, does it and will it impact the other people? Everything else will work out just fine.
(0:17:36) KL: I love it. We are doing this interview and Jon is getting all passionate and pounding on the table. If you hear that tapping in the background.
(0:17:47) JC: It took me that long to get into it?
(0:17:49) KL: The feedback piece and that execution piece is gold. I love your point. We don’t always have a right, as leaders, by any means; it’s just the fact that when you are walking alongside your organization, or whatever that may be for you, and you are willing to act to make a decision to try to improve from that feedback, people can feel that. They are like, “I want to be next to that person. That person wants me to be better. That person wants to help my family.” Saying it is different than doing it. And when you do it, people feel completely different, and so one of the things that I shared at the Mastermind that I think a lot of people that are listening today would find a lot of value in, is everyone is so focused on the finish line, but no one focuses on the beginning. You and I are talking about some of the techniques that we use today in leadership and transformations that we have seen in other business leaders, but as you are listening, I would challenge you to say like, you might not be at the level we are at today, but we were you one day. Listen, I’ve been as guilty as anyone else where I see that person that I’m striving to be that I’m so focused on where they are today and I don’t ask any questions about where they got started. The beginning of the journey for everyone is different, and you’ve mentioned a lot of different things that are happening, but that journey is what builds you and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. How would someone listening right now take action today without feeling that overwhelm of, because you know everyone is comparing, like, I want to be like Kris Lindahl, or I want to be like Jon Cheplak, or whoever that is, but yet they don’t even want to be themselves, or they are too focused on this thing that is way out there that they can’t control and they can’t ever be, or don’t want to be. How can they get started on that journey without comparing themselves to the finish line?
(0:19:50) JC: Really easy in principal or theory, and I think it will be easy in action. Number 1, you want to find someone that is where you are at, and you may have to go through a couple of people. Here is a question I would ask, because here is what I think you want. You may not want it. But there’s what you want and what you need, and you always end up with what you need if you come with the right intention. People always tell you to ask questions. Talk less and ask questions, right? Well, then there’s another issue, you have to know the right questions to ask people. Everyone keeps asking. Don’t go ask a great leader, “Kris, what made you so successful?” Ask them, “what is the worst thing that happened in your life that you faced where you were the most embarrassed, where you had to overcome.” I’m going to tell you something, the great leader, and great to me isn’t just your numbers. Great to me is the substance of the human being. That person is going to sit you down for hours and that person is going to unpack life with you. They are going to share with you, probably something that is really going to resonate. Let me tell you where I was at, and what I discovered, and got me here. That is the critical piece. Ask great leaders the right question. The right question is what did you have to overcome? Because ultimately, when you look at leadership, is there a magic pill of, “okay great, so Jon, you’ve got this thing, you’ve got fear, you’ve got this…” and I mean listen, sometimes, you’ve got to run through a burning wall if that’s what it comes down to. But if you can connect with someone where Kris is at, and Kris will sit down and you say, “Kris, so what was the thing you had to overcome in your life?” “I’ve had to overcome this, and I’ve faced this and I’ve faced that.” And then you’re there. Okay. And then a lot of times you don’t need the steps. You have the borrowed belief of that human being, and you want to be that, and you believe it, you will go through the wall.
(0:21:52) KL: What is fascinating about what you just said, is that we don’t get asked those questions. Ever. People are too scared to go deep and be vulnerable in asking those questions, so you get these surface level questions all of the time. I would challenge anyone who is listening, who is striving to be a better business leader, if you are not willing to ask those questions, are you really willing to be a better leader? That is the piece that as I watched my journey, at the Mastermind, someone was like, “Kris, I absolutely love the type of questions that you ask.” I spend my entire time listening trying to figure out what my question is going to be. The entire time. Because I am so focused on, I have this person in front of me who has these experiences that I don’t have, how can I take advantage of this right now, and get some information that could help me grow? One of the things you mentioned Jon that you just said, and I think this is really important for people to know. You talk about your story and being vulnerable. Tell our listeners a little bit about your story, and where you were 10 years ago, and what things had to happen and where you are today, because I think for so many, if you are not willing to share your story, or willing to be vulnerable, you really can’t get better. So many share with everyone the things that happened in your life, and quite honestly, how close you really were to dying.
(0:23:21) JC: Sure, yeah. I was always a hard worker. My mom was a single parent. She raised two little boys. What a great mentor and model she was for hard work and commitment. Anyways, I got into real estate at 21 and worked hard. That carries over. If you work, your consistency will carry over into success, and this picture of leadership. I moved up the charts, if you will. My last job, I was at Prucal in an executive role and did great things there. But I was in my head and not in my heart, and I keep looking back at that, and it is the most dangerous place to be in. What happens is you create this conflict within you. Whether conscious or not, you know something is wrong. But then you drink. Alcoholism. I had it for years and it would go in and out. After 41 years old, after many years of in and out of rehab, I had a great resume and I got great results, I was empty and there was nothing left. I had a bicycle and $5.00 to my name at 41. Family wouldn’t let me in. They loved me, but that’s what they needed to do to love me. If you have someone that is in this tough place, sometimes support doesn’t look and feel like support. You need to know that one too. I had a million Hilton Honors points from prior travel, so I moved in. I had meals in the morning and meals at night, and here is the beautiful thing I was forced into. It was such a blessing; whether it is a bigger challenge or a smaller challenge, ask yourself, what am I here to learn? I was there to learn true transparency, because I was taken down to the levels where I couldn’t hide from what it was. I started the journey of going back around. I got sober. It’s been 10 years July 21, 2018. Here’s the beauty, alcohol is not the problem. Whatever it is that you think is the problem, but it is just like people in business, they think the KPI’s aren’t working right or the leads aren’t working right. No, it’s the people, because it’s people that are involved. I got clean, but then I went on this obsessive journey to continually cleanse my spirit and my soul, and you don’t arrive. What is very interesting is you don’t arrive. I had a great mentors and a great business career prior to that. If you are at a point in your business career where you have 10 more years to go, and you really want to make things happen, and you haven’t gone down the path of personal development, I could guarantee you this, if you threw away every business book for the next three years and found every personal development book, thank me in about 18 months for the recording breaking experiences you are having. Sure, with your numbers, but with what people are saying you are doing in their lives. Here’s what I will leave you with. If people are happy and feel good about their life, the production will be through the roof. You know, as I was forced into transparency or die, my last week of drinking, I was in the hospital six times for alcohol withdrawals. They call them DT’s. They inject you with IV’s to bring you down. I was so bad that I would go right back out and drink again. That’s the other piece too. However low or challenged you are, there is amazing hope, and there are leaders out there who have come out the other end and are waiting for you to ask them the right question. I can ask you what you did, what made you so successful, but tell me what you had to walk through that was an epic daunting challenge that you are most proud of that people don’t relate to business.
(0:27:09) KL: I’ve watched your journey and I’ve also watched what you have done. You talk about your story and the willingness to get better. Most people, like you said, if it is alcoholism or whatever it is, most people are not willing to get better. When you are in that moment, what was the critical moment where you were like, “I need to get better.” Because, for alcoholism, and you being in the hospital, life or death might have been what it was for you, but for other people it might not be death, but it might be something else. It might be failing somewhere else. When you are in that moment, how can you flip that switch and say, “I am going to get better.”?
(0:27:58) JC: That’s really good. Seek. You are all kinds of things. Not off topic, but really on topic. They tell you, you are going to kick your addiction, but don’t replace it with another addiction. I’ve got news for you, if you are going to replace to with fitness, please do. It is a good switch. Here’s what I would say: seek. For the end all, we want to move to a space of validation comes from within. Motivation comes from within. No one is going to motivate you. Inspiration. Hold that thought. What can inspire me? Is it a significant other? Is it a child? Not from a neediness, from a responsibility because it is going to get you on a path of personal responsibility. If you are in a tough spot, here’s what I know about you, because I know it about me and other people I get to work with. If you are in a tough spot, it’s because you didn’t own something.
(0:29:01) KL: Yes. Yes, you’re right. It’s like 100%. I even look in our organization, and this is the beautiful thing where you have helped us grow, the owning piece has not even just become just about me, it is about our organization. It is always interesting when you are asking the right questions, what actually shows up. There are a lot of people in our organization that own everything that they do now. Before we started coaching and getting into this place where we are today, because we have amazing people and an amazing culture doing great things, I think the difference is people are owning it now. Yes, it is one thing for the leader to own things, but how do we as a leader, start to learn how to ask the right questions to get them to own it as well.
(0:30:00) JC: Complete that one thought, because I do want to get back to the answer to it. For me, the thing that inspired me was my daughter.
(0:30:13) KL: Oh yes, Lexi. That’s all I’m going to say.
(0:30:16) JC: Right! So maybe it’s mom, maybe it’s dad, maybe it’s someone from the past, maybe it’s a mentor. Just find something that can inspire you. But how do we move people to personal responsibility it this. Here’s how to do it. Here’s a tactic, okay? Eliminate the word “why” from your vocabulary in leadership. It is a judgment word. It is a defense word. What the problem with that is getting people to truth is the only way you can facilitate change. So number 1, it is eliminating that word. Number 2, holding that principle of self-discovery we talked about first. Now, how do you do it, tactically? You move them to commitments. You ask them, “What are you committed to?” Now, you are going to have a moment, because I work with, and I have friends we work with that are very analytical and you get them to this commitment space and they go back to… and we know they lead analytically, and some are top down, some are bottom up, and you say, “go ask your people what they are committed to and let me know what you find out.” “Oh, my people are committed.” They come back and they go, “wow, everyone is vague. That’s our society. First of all, educate your people on commitment. But even prior to that, you have educate them on what a commitment is. You have to find one way, by the results. You did it or you didn’t. So educate them. Get them to make commitments, and back them down. Make them smaller to make them get a victory. So work with them in micro commitments, and then with a victory, have a deadline. How do you ask questions? Number one, it has to be a commitment. Number two; it has to be theirs, and not yours.
(0:32:01) KL: That is it. It has to be theirs. Too often, as humans, we are trying to be self-fulfilled. We are trying to get questions that are selfishly… we want the answers to. We are not using their words. I love every time you come within our organization because we have grown so much because now, and for those listening, this is a really big breakthrough not only for myself but for our organization, when you ask the question and you are using their words. No one wants to be told what to do. Period. No one wants to be told what to do at all. We all know the answers to our problems, and when someone asks those questions of you, you are really going through a self-discovery process. It is fun, in our organization and everything else I do, it is fun to watch those breakthroughs when you ask those questions of how far people come. The questions are one part of it. But also, that willingness to want to get better. We had talked about that earlier. One of the other things I really want to hit on, because it can’t just be all about business or motions or commitments or feedback, there also has to be a fun element. There has to be some joy to what you are doing, because if you are just straight business or straight KPI’s or straight analytical, people can feel that. There needs to be some fun. So, the organizations you are with all over the country, whether you are in person or you watch them from a private group, whatever it may be, what are those things that make a difference in an organization from a joy standpoint?
(0:33:48) JC: Well, I will take you back to the primary stage. We talk about this a lot, Kris. First of all, you can’t just go out there and say, “Okay, we are going to do this,” because so many things are fabricated, they do not feel authentic. It’s like, okay on this day, we do this, and on that day, we do that. Here’s the first thing I want you to do, I want you to ask this, it is the thing that you do for fun. What makes you happy?
(0:34:23) KL: Isn’t it amazing how many people can’t answer that question?
(0:34:26) JC: Unbelievable. It is the toughest question of the planet.
(0:34:30) KL: It’s the toughest thing. And listen, I’m just as a guilty as everyone else and so are you. We get so focused on growth and business and life gets busy, the next thing you know the next month turns into three months, into six months, into two years. It’s like I get so focused growing the business that you forget to have fun.
(0:34:51) JC: Right. So right there, again you and I say you have to get down in the weeds a bit until you can define what is fun. So watch this. How can you do anything that is fun if you can’t define it? Listen, your people are as you are. So ask yourself that, and if it pauses you, be excited because that means there is work to do. Here’s where I want you to go further and deeper. I want you to go back to a childhood moment and see that fun moment. What exactly was it? Is there a way you can bring that home? Then, now you can go back to, instead of doing just fun things with your people, now we’re talking transparency. It’s like, “hey, I just went through this exercise and I want it to be fun. You want it to be fun. So let me ask all of you, when is the last time you had fun?” So that’s where I would start.
(0:35:40) KL: Yeah, that’s a very effective way to really start to hone in and start to focus on that joy. One thing that I love to do, and I don’t think I’ve even shared this with you, Jon. Whenever I have something big going on in my life, if it’s business or it’s personal, I will go skip. It just completely activates joy. Every single person I’ve ever asked to just go skip… immediate smile on your face. Every single time. I’ve heard from friends they just start laughing uncontrollably. Like literally just start laughing. It just activates that joy. You’ve mentioned it, the deeper root, and the foundation of why you are doing what you are doing. The joy for me isn’t about selling houses, it is about those families and it’s about being generous and giving back to the community and it’s also about giving back to the families are in our organization, and also the people that have supported us over the years. The problem I see with businesses is I don’t see many people that are willing to give back. When I say give back, I don’t mean just write a check. We have time, we have treasures, we have talent, we have all many things we can do. This came up in the Mastermind with a couple different people. I think that people think, “oh, I contributed money so that means I’m giving back.” I think some of the most earth shattering moments I have had in my life are where I gave advice to someone else, and I actually took more away from it than they did. That constant journey of being students first. Every environment where I go into, whether I am speaking, or listening or whatever, all of it starts with that joy for me. I am super excited about being generous, making a difference and giving back. Maybe there are other examples that you have seen in other organizations where they are focused on, where they have a commitment to bringing that joy because of that cause that is deeper than the product or service that they sell. What are some things you see in different organizations?
(0:37:51) JC: I see organizations that are really focused on the homeless and not from a, okay this is a calendar date that we do this thing. It’s like, fill in the calendar. Have it be authentic. Have it be something not just a, “okay this is how we want it to look.” Have it be, “okay this is how it feels to us, and how it feels to them.” But how it is going to look is going to show up better.
(0:38:22) KL: You are so right. It is something where I wasn’t even great at. If I look back 3 or 4 years, I wasn’t focused on the feeling; I was more focused on the results of everything. Jon has done an amazing job of really getting me focused on this, and asking people, how they feel? “How do you feel?” In the top down leadership style you’re saying, “you have to do this.” You are yelling. You are screaming. You’re not doing this; you’re not doing that. But when you start to ask people how they feel, it starts to connect it back to the heart but also then, it also brings that joy when they have those breakthroughs for how they feel. I watch everything you do on social media. Those that are listening should really follow Jon. You absolutely love what you do. What if someone is listening right now and they don’t love what they do? They are in a position where they are burnt out. They don’t even want to go to work. What advice would you offer someone who is like, “you know what, I don’t know if I can do this anymore. I can’t do it.” What could someone do today that could help them start that journey of being better tomorrow?
(0:39:40) JC: Well, the first place I would go to, and it is easy to say in theory, but I will take you underneath it all. Go to the heart, because the heart is going to carry through everything. It is a hormone-creating machine that releases everything to our brain. Again, our heart sends more signals to the brain than the brain does to the heart. Get into your heart. Here is the thing I would tell you to do, it is an exercise that was given to me. Go out and find three people right now, randomly that you can help. Right now. Let me tell you, when I was really taught this, we’re all pulled to do this, but it was like, okay, here’s an action step. I was 24-hours out of rehab. I had $5.00 in the bank, and emotionally bankrupt, but was sober for a few days, and I went and sought out the most hardcore, rigid guy, because I knew I needed it. I said, “I am willing to do anything you want me to do.” He said, “great! Go find someone to help right now.” I said, “You’re ridiculous. I am helpless.”
(0:40:35) KL: Yeah, you can’t even help yourself.
(0:40:49) JC: He said, “Someone has it worse.”
(0:40:50) KL: That is so good.
(0:40:51) JC: So here is what it invokes though, and it comes back around full circle. We are t old this, but we are telling you this at a deep, deep level because we know it. Do
we walk it perfectly? No. But that is why we have the relationship we have, is we know what we have to come back to. When you start loving other people more, you tap more into your own heart, you will love yourself more. Those signals will come back to you. Here’s the other part, you may be burnt out. You may be stuck there, because you do not know what you love. Maybe there needs to be a discovery of what you love. Maybe what you are doing, though, I think another way to inspect and examine it, ask yourself a question. You have human beings around the work you are doing, have you been treating them more as a vehicle to a result versus creating moments along the way with them in life in business that happened to deliver a result? Those are a couple of things and couple ways I would look at it.
(0:41:58) KL: Here’s one that I have always seen as a struggle for friends of mine that are in leadership positions is energy. Energy in leadership. Listen, most leaders tend to take on too much. If you are more of that visionary type style. It is a non-stop driver. IT drives you crazy. You can’t shut your brain off. You are just completed obsessed with being a maniac. With that being said, what things can you do? What are things you recommend that you could do to make your energy level more consistent, or start to raise it up because energy is everything? If you are flattened and overwhelmed, then you’ve got nothing. So what types of things do you recommend to people who are listening?
(0:42:40) JC: It’s good that I always answer your questions seven layers deep because that’s where we go. Come to understand that your brain uses more carbohydrates and energy than any nutrition on the planet and people don’t get that. They look at this physical exhaustion. So know that. Number two, just the basics. Your nutrition. Kris and I talk about this. You can get going when you’re busy. Kris has been an athlete and has been all of his life, and me too, but we can ebb and we can flow, but that’s where we have these conversations. So your fitness and your nutrition, at some level. Here’s the big piece in energy. Where do you need to create boundaries? Know this, people have a problem with boundaries because we all want approval and to be accepted and we don’t want people to think bad things about us. I’m going to give you a principle; you don’t have to believe it. If you hear some things that you question, question them, but here’s what I want to suggest that you do. But, just believe that I believe it, and then believe that maybe a few other people believe it. And then watch and see over time if it plays out, and if it does, then that’s good. You know?
(0:44:02) KL: The energy piece of it is everything.
(0:44:09) JC: Pieces, places and things. What in those three areas? Write a list. Do the, I think they call it the Ben Franklin, add and subtract. Write down all of the people that add to your life in a good way, and then all of the ones that subtract. If you really want to lead and serve people, here is what you are doing: push them out, and do them a favor instead of continuing to allow them to be what they are.
(0:44:41) KL: Right. Yes. That is where I love to be in environments where I am challenged. You never want to be the smartest person in the room. When someone can challenge you, whether you challenging someone else, or you are getting challenged personally, that’s where the growth moments have always been in my life. Whether you are asking the questions or answering them. Those kind of things are the things that really move the needle for me, but the energy piece, and the reason I bring this up, is there were a lot of people as Mastermind who were like, “how can you sustain that level of energy for that long?” I just said, “I’ll just go until I don’t have a voice and you have to carry me out of here.” Because the foundation of what I am doing is right now, and I’m not saying it was always that way, but I go back to the thought that I want to give back, I want to be generous, I want to make a difference. I want to give everything I have; wherever I am to everyone I am with. When you look at where you were Jon, earlier in your career, where were those breakthrough moments where your energy level just went to a completely different level? Not only from a nutrition standpoint, but also just mentally. Where did you have this shift where it was like, was it a maturity thing? Was it something a mentor told you, or was it some feedback that you received from someone else? What was that breakthrough moment where your energy level went to a whole different level?
(0:46:01) JC: It comes back to, it wasn’t a business coach, it wasn’t a business leader. It was a physiological personal development. It was body and spirit in it and understanding what energy truly is. People see Kris energetically, or see me energetically, and see the intensity, but say, “oh, my gosh, how do you…” but I don’t sit with Kris when Kris is alone, because if Kris is alone, that would be impossible. And none of you sit with me when I am alone. People can talk about all of the rituals and things like that, but it is when you allow energy in and around you and it is pacing. We have talked about speaking. You and I could go out and speak for 8 hours, all day long or for one hour. We are both going to walk out just as exhausted with either one…
(0:46:57) KL: We are going to give everything we have in whatever that duration is.
(0:47:00) JC: We are going to pace it. But then what we are going to do, it’s gone. It’s history.
(0:47:07) KL: Gone. Recover.
(0:47:08) JC: So, I think that this may sound very basic, but have boundaries. Be able to say no. Every no I say in any area that may be challenging and Kris, too. He does well with boundaries. We are Batman. We can disappear, but it is for the greater good for what we are doing. Everywhere we can say no to certain things that are so important for people, like the fear of missing out, gives us the opportunity to say yes in more areas that require energy because we are not exhausting it in things that don’t align to what we want to do, be or stand for.
(0:47:42) KL: Perfect. Spot on. You mentioned one word there. You mentioned exhausted. When you talk about boundaries, and you talk about the things we have to say “no” to. What things do you see that show up that lead to us becoming exhausted as business leaders?
(0:47:58) JC: Number one is people that do not own their outcomes. Lack of personal responsibility. Here’s the other thing, the only way it is going to make me exhausted though, is if I allow it. I tell you in principle, if you can hold the principle, you can see when the situations show up. Boundaries. Am I going to allow someone that does not take personal responsibility, number one, because if I do, you have a 99.9% chance that they will not do something productive or grow?
(0:48:35) KL: That personal responsibility piece, and lack of clarity or direction of where you are going, it can lead you to really bad places of overwhelm. It can be a real struggle. One of the things Jon has really helped me with, is as I look at my energy levels and I look at overwhelm, and we all have our battles everyday. Water. Water was a simple change for me. I will be the one to fully admit it, I get going crazy and it’s actually really hard to drink the amount of water that you said. You gave me some recommendations on what type of water to stay hydrated. Maybe just share what you do to stay hydrated. Because that is a really important thing when you talk about energy and overwhelm. Most people are running around dehydrated.
(0:49:33) JC: It is so great because our last Mastermind, prior to N.L.A., I had one of my longtime nutrition consultants come in and he spoke for an hour and he probably said water two hundred times. Think about this, what I would like to say to you right now, because I like to keep it simple, any water, because I promise you are not drinking enough. Now, here is what is interesting. Just with water, I want excellence, I want greatness. I will get a call the next day. “I can’t do that.” “Why?” “I have to pee too much.” Wow, isn’t that great. Do you want your body to be a pond or a lake? A pond is murky and a lake is clear. What water is, is the earth’s elixir. It transports nutrients to your body. So, number one is taking care of the simple things. It’s tiny hinges swinging big doors.
(0:50:26) KL: There was something that was at the Mastermind that was just absolutely incredible, and it was the Las Vegas Knight’s G.M., George McPhee. That was absolutely unbelievable. I want to share this with everybody because it is just how fast life can change and things can go. So, maybe just tell us a brief story of the calls you got from your daughter, and after that we will kind of go through how George had to respond to that incident.
(0:50:59) JC: I was kind of at both ends of it. There was an irony. I was speaking for a friend out in Philadelphia at a big event. 10:30 Pacific, 1:30 Eastern time. The phone is ringing. Long story short, it was my daughter calling as she is running out of the Vegas massacre. The shooting at the county western concert at Mandalay Bay. And then the phone would go dead, and then she would come back on and tell me of the story as she was running out. Long story short, we are very blessed to have her get out of there. Two gentlemen, strangers, who stood in front of her called her over and told her to duck behind them. Both of them got shot and died on top of her. She ran out with a torn meniscus because they landed on her. She had to remove bodies off from her to run out. Anyways, with that said, she works in a club, and a lot of the hockey players will come in there. NHL players. She got to know them really well. But, what happened was, this was in pre-season last year. Those hockey players shut down everything except their games and rallied, and the city rallied around that team. To watch these human beings… And I was never even a hockey fan.
(0:52:23) KL: That’s what I love about it. We went to a game last night, and I’m looking across at Jon and Jon is not really a hockey fan. He has his hat and he is doing Facebook Lives, and I watched everything he did. People are dressed up in the Vegas Knights gear, and there’s Jon taking photos of the big screen.
(0:52:45) JC: Yeah, and then I come meet you up there, and I go “hey, here are our tickets for tomorrow night.” Well, I think that is the example. To digress for a minute, so they connected. This pro sports team connects not on sports but on human experience with the community. And now, not only winning, you know, from a win loss perspective, but the values. They are winning in the community. So we went through that, and Lexi saw that and their volunteerism and these amazing things, so I was attracted to the Las Vegas Knights because, wow, what great humans. My daughter got to know them. I watched George be interviewed once, George McPhee of the Knights. The number one thing he said was, “I’m not looking for talent for first, I am looking for the right human beings that will fit together and so when I looked at bringing someone to the epic leaders that are in my Mastermind, I picked George McPhee. What was your experience with that?
(0:53:44) KL: It was the most unbelievable thing, and a couple of things that really stuck out to me is they, as an expansion team in the NHL, far surpassed any, they made it all the way to the finals. No one thought they were going to be there. They are playing way past what their expectations were. The things that really stuck out to me… okay, so, you’re George, you’re the G.M., and you have this plan for six months for the first game in Las Vegas. You have planned this first game in Las Vegas, and you have it all planned out. And, as you know, in Vegas, they don’t do anything small. The production was all set up. It was going to be big. In that moment, when that massacre happened, they completed had to flip everything that happened for that first game. The thing that stuck out for me was he said, “The only thing I cared about was I needed to get that show and that ceremony right. That’s it. Period. I didn’t care if we won the game, or care about anything else. We just had to get that ceremony right.” The other part that stuck out to me is he said, “We gave people in Las Vegas something to smile about when there was nothing to smile about.” I think it was less than a week. It was very close timing from when the massacre happened, to when opening day was in Vegas. But, just giving someone that ability to go as smile, and have that joy, and I think when we are talking about George and the things that happened on that night. It’s everything we talked about today, and it is everything we talked about in this episode. It all comes together exactly for those same reasons. It is the joy of giving people something to smile about. George is such a humble guy. So humble. Another thing that stuck out for me was the no egos. Their organization is like… egos are not tolerated. You know, any professional athlete, when you get it that level… I get it, to be in the NHL, you have to be confident. You have to be confident. This is a really high level, you really need to be confident, but he said at the same time, we will not tolerate ego. We just won’t. We won’t tolerate it. It is the same thing in our organization. I am the same person today that I was ten years ago. It’s because I never forget where I came from or where I am going. I think those are things that we always have to remember as business leaders. When we look at George, and I can’t thank him enough for coming. It was one of the incredible, most authentic and real things that had ever happened. When I think about George, I think about how many people there are in this world, and probably a lot of people that are listening today that maybe aren’t in a position where a massacre happened, or someone had asked those right questions. How do people like that get better, or want to get better, if they haven’t even got any education or they haven’t had that significant life changing event, where ten years ago for you, you’re in a hospital and it’s alcoholism. What if that hasn’t happened to you? What do you do?
(0:57:00) JC: Well you have to have a… because, you can always seek people out. But, to save time, I hope that is why people listen to Podcasts. I know the spirit of Kris and his heart and mine too, I hope what we can contribute to, is to look for resources and books and it is easy to say, but that are 100%. Like I said, throw away your business books for two or three years, and find anything that connects with the heart and anything that causes you to be introspective and anything that talks about true values and principles and who you stand for. I mean I can share some that have been really special to me. Really hone it down. The Four Agreements has been a great book. Heart of the Soul, which would sound interesting and funny for a business book, but it is probably one of the best business books on the planet, because it taught me that I needed to learn about me. Learn about you. I think that is what really galvanizes this and creates clarity. Have a desire to learn as much as you possibly can about why you do what you do, and why you don’t do what you really, really want to do. I think that would be the journey. Because the only way to do that and get those answers is the uncovering of your human behavior. It is fascinating. Everyone is sitting out there with questions they want answered.
(0:58:31) KL: Oh, 100% all of the time. Here’s the thing about leadership that I really love. We never really have it figured out. Even if at the level you are at today, Jon. You were in that room, and you had takeaways from George. What were the things that you look back and kind of reflect? Quite honestly, that was a lot to unpack with George. We have more to more reflection to do on that because it was so incredible. What were your big takeaways about what George had to say in the Las Vegas Knights organization?
(0:58:59) JC: Personally, it is less is more because if you really look at it, less is more. Being 100% principle-based, and the personalities will be served at the highest level. Be unwavering to your principles, but keep emotions out of it. In other words, don’t be emotionally attached to it. You can have fun. You can love people. But you can’t be emotionally attached to it. Attach to experiences. Attach to moments. But outcomes, you just can’t. You really, really can’t. The big one was the ego thing, because I would have said, “well, you’ve always got to have a little bit of spice in there to mix things up.” You know, someone in there to push things. And every organization practically. No, you don’t. Most organizations have that one wild card that people hold onto and keep them in the corner because for whatever reasons, but to be absolutely, 100% non-negotiable about ego.
(1:00:22) KL: Yes, they won’t sacrifice anything. Nothing.
(1:00:24) JC: Period. I’m respecting the confidentiality of some things that were shared, but when it showed up in one circumstance it was dealt with now.
(1:00:33) KL: That is what is fascinating, is that when those things show up in your organization. We don’t have that problem is our organization. Listen, we all have challenges. We have all of these people in our organizations. Challenges are going to show up. Struggles. Things are going to go. When you look at the organizations you have worked with over the years. Jon has done so much amazing work for organizations inside and outside of real estate. I think too many people get too focused on the business aspect of running a company. But where are the actual breakthroughs in a company that get them to the next level. What are those things, where all of the sudden you look back and you think that was the moment in that organization that they went from x to this. What are those things that get you to the next level?
(1:01:31) JC: Here’s the simple one I want you to carry away with you. Keep this. Because there is a lot of information to go back and listen to, but think about this one. Trust equals capacity. When they started to trust, they had to trust two people. The first person you have to trust, and it is my job to challenge the leaders, the first person you have to trust is yourself. See, anyone who doesn’t trust, “I don’t trust, I don’t trust” whenever you hear that, the first thing you need to look at is in ourselves, too. Kris and I love each other dearly as respect and friends, because we are constantly doing the work and we know we have those flaws but yet are growing. Trust equals capacity. Who do I need to trust? I need to trust myself 100%. Then the next step is, most organizations are capped. In other words, your capacity, you cannot go any further because you are not trusting other people. So, A) learn to trust yourself. Here’s how you need to trust yourself. No matter what happens, it is going to be okay. Your identity as a human being isn’t attached to how much money you make or don’t make. Your identity as a human being is attached to the impact you have on other human beings. Otherwise, you are not going to trust people.
(1:02:50) KL: That’s right. That’s exactly it. You know real quick when you go into an organization when there are trust issues. Whether it is the leadership or somewhere else in the organization, you can see trust breaking down, and that business will not grow, just hands down, just because of the trust.
(1:03:05) JC: Number one, leaders have to trust themselves. A lot of times they have to do some unpacking that goes back to, ta da, childhood. It is the deep work. Then, the next step is trusting your staff. See, because what you are doing is capping your staff. Here’s another equation. Control equals fear. Your need to control. I want you to think about trust, capacity, control and fear. Those are the obstacles. The lack of trust, the need to control, and having fear are the things that really keep a cap on the organization. Now I have to let go of control and trust people that are in positions to experience their potential. But giving them framework within a space, where sure, there is tension that facilitates creativity, but a safety to come to you when maybe they don’t perform at the highest level, instead of you having the chase it down. Here’s where we get into the business structure. It’s that ability to learn to trust people and to get out of the way, and though cliche-ish, empower them to do what they are going to do, but when they screw up, allow them to make mistakes on the way to success.
(1:04:30) KL: Those learning opportunities are so critical. We have failures everyday in our organization and we look at those as learning opportunities. You bring up trust and something came to mind as I think about the Vegas Knights and as I think about where they ended last season in the finals as an expansion team. You have trust and you have momentum. The momentum piece you have, and it is exactly what George said, we won. Then we won other game.
(1:05:02) JC: And then we kept on winning!
(1:05:05) KL: It was great! And then we kept on winning. But that momentum releases that dopamine. It’s like I got a win, I got a win. Those small little wins that you could focus on. They don’t have to be major. They don’t have to be winning an NHL game. It could be a very small win every single day, but when I look at that organization and I look at what George shared… momentum, and he said, “We just kept winning, but the trust in that locker room.” The best locker rooms are the ones that win championships, but that fits right into that trust piece. When you watch a team play that is playing at an elite level, and every single person in that organization trusts each other.
(1:05:44) JC: 100%. Sacred. Sacred is a word that comes. That locker room is sacred to them. If you have a real estate team or a company, it’s got to be sacred. It needs to be a tribe, a village, and a community. It needs to have, you can call them buzzwords. They are only buzzwords if you don’t take the action. It must have a spirit of volunteerism. Sure, we are all in a for profit business, but the ability of people to look past that and look to how can I support people that are with me. If you look at a professional athlete, if I don’t know, without even looking, that you are going to be where you are supposed to be on the field for me, we are not going to be champions. If I know that, and I can observe that in a group, or a team. If someone is in need of something in your group, and it’s not a five-person team. What are you, forty, or fifty people now?
(1:06:42) KL: 60 total.
(1:06:46) JC: 60! Now, here is what is interesting. You watch. Here is where it comes back to culture, Kris, and for everyone else. People have all of these definitions and they put all of this crap on the walls and call it culture. Let me tell you what culture is. Here’s culture. When someone puts up a need to support or help or they are in a jam and the rest of the group gets in a race on the post within 20 minutes, “I’ll do it.” “I’ll do it but, I can’t do it quite then.” “Let me try to change this for you.” That’s freaking culture.
(1:07:15) KL: It is. It is. So, we obviously had the opportunity to speak alongside George, and I got a few minutes with him before he went on, and we talked about culture. And so, one of the things about culture that is so important in our organization and any organization where you’ve seen culture become very, very successful and start to take a life of its own. Quite honestly, and the culture today carries on whether I am there or not. The people in our organization carry the culture on, and it is the most amazing thing that you see. So George and I are talking, and he is such a humble person, he goes, “hey, I want to run a few things by you. I don’t know if I even have the right stuff for the group.” He is such a good guy. He was talking about culture, and he goes, “good culture, you don’t talk about it, you feel it.” So good. You feel good culture. You don’t talk about it. I always see these organizations that are like, “we’ve got great culture. Come join our company, we’ve got great culture. We’re one of the best places to work,” and blah, blah, blah. Vomit on everyone. Come work here. But where I can learn about our organization is you are only as good as your weakest person. You are only as good as your weakest person, so if you look at your organization and someone is considering it or someone wants to understand your organization at a higher level, what would your organization look like if they talked to the person who is struggling? Of course, us as business leaders are going to say everything is great and amazing and we have good culture and blah, blah, blah. What are some of those things that someone can do that is listening today. Say their culture is really struggling, and how do they take talking about culture to feeling the culture?
(1:09:11) JC: First of all, identify the people. I think there are values that come with culture. You have to find the people that carry it as close as possible. Who are the people that operate from a spirit of volunteerism? Look for some core principles. Core principles I look for are personal responsibility, accountability, commitment and vision. People that understand service. People that understand volunteerism. People that are attached to a process, but not to the outcome. But you have to look for who exhibits those types of actions and then some emerging values that I have looked at over time that are important. There are principles and emerging values to look for in some of the people, some not all, because not everyone is going to have it. Fun, love, dignity, and respect are four emerging values that I look for. Those go on a lot of people’s walls and stay there. Now what you have to do is go sit down with those people and meet with them and talk with them and say here is what I see in you. I don’t think I am doing a good job of extending this throughout the culture. What do you think we can do to create an experience of this and carry this out to the people that are in our culture? So there are a couple of things in that. I would look for those values. I would look for those principles. And then I would look for people that have it. Here’s the good news. If you find, “oh my gosh, Jon. I found no one.” Awesome! Guess what? You get to do a rebuild. Because top down, good luck! Good luck instilling it.
(1:10:50) KL: Yeah, no one wants to be told what to do.
(1:10:51) JC: No. No. So great, we have brought a level of consciousness to you. Now, the next piece is, if you find those people and you get them in the room and you apply that transparency. “Here is what I see in you. Here is what I know I need to do better at. The most important person to carry it is you, because your voice as part of this culture is stronger than mine is. I am the framework, but you are the brushstroke on this canvas that we spoke of in this art that we are creating. Now, how do you feel about the other ten of fifteen others? Who else embodies this?” Here’s the thing with good leaders. You better be willing to ask the questions you don’t want to answers to.
(1:11:28) KL: That’s right. You have to be willing to be vulnerable to ask those questions.
(1:11:30) JC: Because they might look at you and say, “no one.” That is good news, because wow, then it is only a matter of time before the three or four people who don’t embody those values would have been leaving.
(1:11:44) KL: As I listen to you share that, what comes to mind, which is where, as business leaders we are in a spot where we can’t see why the culture is where it is, but you are looking to get to that culture that actually feels great. Notice the one thing that Jon didn’t say anything about products. He didn’t say anything about services. He didn’t say anything about any of it in culture. I think that is where a lot of business leaders get confused is like, well, we are going to have great culture, but we start to talk about things that may or may not matter to the people that we lead or lead alongside. With that culture piece, what types of things have you seen in organizations that motivate people to get really, really, really excited about their culture? What types of activities? I know you mentioned when we post something in our private group and everyone jumps in trying to help, and you can see and feel the culture. What other types of things can an organization do to really get that culture to the next level?
(1:12:52) JC: First of all, contribution. That can go in so many ways. I love what you pointed out, Kris. By all means, if money is the best way you can, and that’s your best choice, I don’t want to be a judge of that. Who am I to be a judge of anyone? I mean in moments of contribution that create experiences so that the people that are participating in whatever you are contributing to, that they take it back and they talk about it and it becomes the fabric and the fiber of what you do, then the ceiling houses become secondary. I think the most recent thing that you did… was it at the Twins Stadium or something?
(1:13:29) KL: Yeah, yeah. At Target Field. It was Feed my Starving Children. We packed meals and you know, that’s why I said it’s not always about treasures and money and doing those things. Sometimes we have time where we can contribute to other organizations to help grow. That’s where, when as I look at our culture, everyone is willing to give and be generous. When you are part of an organization like that, it is the most incredible feeling in the world. I love the people in my organization and I love being there. I am excited every single day like I was in 2009 to where I am today. I absolutely love those people to a whole different level. So, question for you, Jon. When you look at the future of your companies and the direction you are headed, what are you most excited about for the future?
(1:14:23) JC: When I talk about where my companies are headed is number 1, growth has one purpose to me. I got really clear about what money is to me. Money is a vehicle for me to continually a message that facilitates change and growth in people’s lives. So what excites me about my business and what I am doing is I get to speak with more people. I have principles and values that I have been taught that hopefully continue to impact people and it excites me that I can extend that to more people. The neat thing, Kris, is working with other leaders. You know that if you share something with me, it is going to impact thousands. It is big. I know if I share something with you it is going to impact thousands. It is seeing that at this point in life that business growth means n opportunity to impact more people’s lives that were hopeless too. Not just someone who was big and wants the 10x thing, because I was hopeless myself at a point in time. It is that, and then, also, you know her well, and also having my children see that and then hopefully carry it through. That’s what I am most excited about, really.
(1:15:48) KL: The reason I asked that question is because there are so many people in this world that would answer that question with money and growth and net worth and all of these things that I quite honestly believe will leave people very empty at some point. If you cannot get to the core of what you are doing and what excites you, it will be very difficult to get to that next level. So, one of the things that I will ask of everyone today that is listening is, I believe that this Podcast can help a lot more people. If you could subscribe to this Podcast, or you would be willing to leave this Podcast a 5-star review so we could help more people. One of the things I have learned through my years of leadership and coming a better person and honestly, becoming obsession with it, are that there aren’t a lot of resources out there that really can help you get better and the only way that there can be resources is we have to be able to share things with others and put things onto others that will help your growth like recommending books, just like you did today, Jon. We are constantly giving things. I would just gratefully ask that you give this Podcast and you share this episode that you think it can impact. Listen, the entire Podcast may not change your entire world, but one thing, you might not recognize can change their entire world. If you would be willing to share this Podcast and subscribe to our Podcast, we have some exciting things that are coming in the future. And of course I have to ask for a 5-star review. This was an amazing, amazing Podcast today, Jon. I just want to say thank you so much. Maybe you want to finish up with some final last words to people. We have all aspects of some very experienced business leaders listening and some that are aspiring to be business leaders. Some that are super successful, and some that are really struggling. What final thoughts that you could give to someone on this journey to become better?
(1:17:51) JC: Sure. One, I think that I mentioned, and one I know that I didn’t. First of all, this one I didn’t mention but I want to be really clear with it. If you are struggling and your business is in a bad spot or you are having a bad day, the number one thing I want you do is to think about it who can I help? Maybe it is a phone call that you can make or maybe it is to go out and spend some concentrated time with someone who is just struggling. Maybe it is a community that is struggling— a homeless community. Just find someone that needs help. The only reason that we are really down, are feelings are a choice. The bad news with feelings, though, are if we choose to feel down, our outcomes aren’t going to be that good. Helping someone makes you feel good. Here’s the second one I would go to. It is very interesting, and again, people are going to say discipline and commitment. People think that I am that discipline and committed guy. Yes and no. Here’s what I would say. I want to challenge you with this one. People talk a lot about a morning ritual. If you are in a tough spot, find someone to help. If you are in a really good spot, find thirty people to help. The next one is this. I want you to write down that gratitude list. But here’s what I find with 99.9% of all people don’t do with gratitude, maybe it is one thing you are grateful for, maybe it is three things. I want you to shift. I will leave you with this. Gratitude is an action word. Don’t just write down what you are grateful for, I want to you to write down the action step you are going to take as a result of the gratitude. I am grateful for my health. I hear people say it all of the time, but where their actions and where their health is don’t show that. The final piece I would share with you is move gratitude into an action word. Maybe there is one other one. It’s all about the people. Put the people first, and the results will show up.
(1:19:50) KL: That is so good. It is. It is people first. Just to finish up here, I just want to say thank you for all of the people in my life who have supported me personally or professionally and helped me to get to where I am today. It is a constant journey. I am focused on continuing to get better. I just want to say thank you. This Podcast will be one of the top Podcasts in the entire county. The reason I believe that is I believe the people that are listening right now are the people that are going to help me get me to that next level. I just want to say thank you so must for supporting me and believing in me and helping me, quite honestly, get better. I appreciate you tuning into Behind the Billboard Podcast. Thank you so much, Jon Cheplak. This has been amazing. I would love to hear everyone’s feedback as we continue to grow this Podcast, and once again, thank you for your support.
(1:20:37) JC: Thanks, bud!