young professional

Emily Mishler – Perspective for the Young Professional: Why Authenticity Wins when Building Your Network (AoL 190)

As we’re quickly hurtling towards 2021, many a young professional is finding it harder and harder to sync into the “real world” once they’re out of college. For me, it’s been over 10 years since I got out. And it took me quite awhile to get my bearings. I can only imagine what it’s like now as the world is changing faster and faster outside the ivory tower of academia.

Personally, I think 2020 has been a wake up call in more ways than one. Sure, we’ve been talking about pivoting all year since the virus officially dropped. But one thing we haven’t discussed is the need for better networking skills.

For yours truly, I struggled with this for awhile when I got out of school. In fact, I wasn’t all that great at it even when I started this podcast. However, it was through the podcast, that I have been able to build my networking skills. It’s definitely not the same perspective I have on the art as I did when I first entered into the “real world”. It would have been nice to have been taught some of the stuff you’ll learn in today’s conversation in school.

So, if you’re a young professional, entering the workforce, or have an expendable entry level position, what can you do to hedge your bets? Well, I think a great start is to look at someone like Emily Mishler as a fine example of how to get yourself out there.

Listen in as Andy and I find out how she’s been able to reach the professional level she has as a late 20-something.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

How was Emily able to be as productive as she was during her college years? 11:08
How can a young professional leverage their network to build something they’ll be really proud of? 15:44
What are some common misconceptions that younger people have about networking? 18:37
If someone wants to begin networking, what would Emily recommend as a starting strategy? 23:03
What advice would Emily have for those who have multiple passions and is having a hard time focusing on single passion because they feel if they focus on one that it will be on the expense of the others? 29:11
How has Emily been able to pivot in 2020? 31:46
What is Emily’s favorite opening line for networking? 35:12
Which one book, one film, and one song would Emily add to the national curriculum? 36:06
What has she been learning about recently that she’s super excited to implement? 36:36
Is there something specific that each high school student must know? 37:49
What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 38:29

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Emily Featured as Miss Purdue

Emily’s Interview on the Grow Stack Drive (GSD) Podcast with Ken Joslin

Jas and Jo Interview Emily and learn more about Curiosity and her children’s book series

Emily Discusses the Creative Society


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

live the life

Justin Breen – Live the Life You Want – How to Build Your Own Epic Business (AoL 187)

In the last five years, I’ve learned a lot of things from doing this show. If someone is looking, I really think it can help someone live the life they want. However, while I might have learned plenty since starting the show, I’d say a big part of that knowledge is simply developing new perspectives on what I already thought I knew.

While I’ve had several changes of perspective, three have stood out the most this year.

The first big perspective change I had was that it really does take awhile to master a craft. For example, while I feel I know a lot about producing a great sounding show, there’s always tweaks I can be making to improve the show as a whole. But it’s only from that experience that I know to make those changes. You’re not going to learn meaningful knowledge overnight.

The second perspective shift I’ve received from the show was actually a big game changer. I realized the more people are doing work aligned with what’s important to them in life and how others see them, the closer they are to doing work that isn’t really… work.

And the third realization came from understanding this past year one thing: The more people you meet and let into your life, the more opportunity you have to grow.

I share those three perspectives with today’s guest, Justin Breen.

In fact, when I realized he was building his business on these three core beliefs, it occured to me that I should probably embrace them more myself.

Listen in as he shares with Veronica and I why these beliefs are important to him and how they’ve empowered him to live the life he’s proud of.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What initially drew Justin to a career in journalism? 9:13
  • In 2017 Justin realized there was a shift in journalism. What happened that made him realize it was time to start to live the life he desired? 11:43
  • What inspired Justin to write his book Epic Business the way he did? 18:04
  • What are some of the things someone should expect to learn about in his book? 19:53
  • How can someone put their family needs first when they believe the work that they’re doing is supporting their family long term? 24:01
  • How important is a knowledge of PR and media connections in business success? 31:09
  • For someone who’s just starting out in their business, what should they know about being more respectful of journalists and building relationships with them? 34:26
  • How did Justin learn the skill of leading with relationships in building his business as opposed to being highly transactional? 37:58
  • What does the future of BREpic look like and what is he looking forward to? 43:25
  • Who are Justin’s favorite teachers who have helped him get to where he’s at today? 45:21
  • Which documentary would he recommend people check out? 45:37
  • What’s the best advice he’s ever received? 45:58
  • Is there an issue more people should be paying attention to? 46:12
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 46:36

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Justin Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
Cohost: Veronica Kirin
Powered By: Kennected
Greg Reid AoL Interview
Epic Business – Justin Breen (Amazon Link)
Three Feet from Gold – Greg Reid (Amazon Link)
Kolbe A Index
Documentary: Thirteenth

Justin’s Networking Groups
Provisors (Local chapters around the country)
Strategic Coach
Entrepreneur’s Organization
Abundance 360 (Elon Musk level)

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

AoL Past Guest Manuj interviews Justin

Kristi Ross Interviews Justin – Summary of BrEpic and Some Key Considerations on Growth

Rob Rosmis interviews Justin – The Importance of the Story

Jordan Ostroff interviews Justin – Developing a Unique Brand


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

business team

Dirk van Reenen – A Great Challenge Means Great Opportunity – How to Build a Pivot Ready Business Team from Day 1 (AoL 180)

For a lot of business owners, the pandemic has cost them their livelihood. For example, Yelp! recently shared that 55% of the businesses using their platform which closed down due to the pandemic aren’t coming back. What’s a business team to do when you’re looking at those kinds of numbers? How can you avoid having to close down?

The answer, I believe, is all about being able to make a pivot. And this is something we’ve been discussing in great detail on the show.

Unfortunately, for some business teams, pivoting might not be too obvious. Sure, curb service and delivery for some restaurants makes sense, but what if your restaurant wasn’t so much a restaurant, but a bar? What if you’re reliant on a market that’s not doing so great right now such as realty?

Today’s guest, Dirk van Reenen, excels at helping teams focus on the foundations of business and how they scale their businesses in ways that they might not have noticed before. In fact, with the future looking like things will be changing faster and faster, it’s important that all businesses know how to quickly pivot.

So what does that look like? Well, the first thing is all about building the right team – and that’s where today’s conversation takes us.

Listen in as Andy and I learn more about Dirk’s business BERGflow and how it might benefit those of us going through or preparing to go through a hard time.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What’s the path that Dirk followed to eventually starting BERGFlow? 9:45
  • Where did the name BERGFlow come from? 15:20
  • What are some things people need to consider when building a team as a solopreneur? 20:24
  • What challenges does remote work give to a group who’s forming into an effective team? 26:50
  • If a leader finds themselves in a situation where there’s trust issue in the team, how can they get back some of the control in their group? 32:02
  • According to Dirk, what’s the importance of a business team building something worthwhile? 38:54
  • What kind of things is Dirk looking forward to as we move into a different world post-pandemic? 45:40
  • What’s the best advice he’s ever received? 51:40
  • Which three books does he gift or tell others about? 52:11
  • What’s the smallest decision he’s made that has had the largest impact in his life? 54:22
  • What’s one thing all high school students must know? 59:01
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 1:01:41

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Dirk Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube
Cohost: Andy Dix
Powered By: Kennected
Documentary – Happy – (Flow in BERGfow comes from this documentary)
Rocketfuel – Visionary / Operator (or Integrator) relationship
David Osborn- Dirk’s Mentor
e-myth revisited
Chris Tuff AoL Interview
Think and Grow Rich
The Fish that Ate the Whale
The Road Less Stupid – Keith Cunningham
Loving What Is – Byron Katie

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

How to Navigate the Early Stages of Shift

Adapting to the Shift

Where is the Bottom of This?

What are you doing to Pivot and Move Forward?


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

greater success

Dr. Ryan Gottfredson – Unlocking Greater Success – How We Can Move From a Fixed Mindset to One of Growth (AoL 178)

When we have the discussion about achievement and having greater success, many times we go straight to tactics and tools as the answer. Or, if we know better, maybe we’ll take a look at our vision and mission and see if it needs to be tweaked a bit.

One thing we often skip over, however, is our mindset. As we’ve been learning in the show recently, mindsets can be seen as the lenses we see the world in. And there’s a lot of talk about going from negative mindsets to more positive alternatives.

Most of the time, though, this has been a bit of nebulous concept. Especially, when we don’t know where we’re currently at and how we can improve from there.

However, in this session, our goal is to bring that conversation down to reality a bit.

Our guest, Dr. Ryan Gottfredson, has spent over five years looking at the knowledge and data on what it means to go from good to great when it comes to mindsets. And what he’s found is that mindsets can actually be quantifiable.

Through his assessment and book, Success Mindsets, we have a way to find out where we’re at in our positive and negative mindsets and have a plan to move all our

If you’ve been searching for an assessment to help you get more clarity on where you should go in your self development journey, this is a great place to start.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Ryan end up in the Organizational Behavior field and later looking at mindsets? 10:06
  • Why does he look at mindsets versus personalities? 13:44
  • What are the four opposing mindsets that we can encounter in the world? 16:57
  • How do the results of Gallup’s annual poll on leadership tie into Ryan’s research? 21:42
  • How do we as leaders become the better version of ourselves so we can inspire our followers to be their best? 24:04
  • Is there a way to make sure we don’t fall into self protective stress and keep in a growth mindset? 26:03
  • What exercises can someone do to keep them in a growth mindset? 29:09
  • Does Ryan feel that his new growth mindset is his new default setting or will he have to continue to reinforce it over time? 32:50
  • What role does a coach play in helping someone improve their mindset? 35:37
  • What benefits can someone expect from reading Ryan’s book “Success Mindsets“? 36:43
  • When it comes to the word agile, what does it mean at the individual level? 38:16
  • What has Ryan been doing as part of his pandemic pivot? 41:58
  • How infectious are mindsets when it comes to other people? 43:43
  • What are Ryan’s top 3 favorite books he gifts or tells others about? 45:24
  • When you become overwhelmed or unfocused, what does he do? 46:49
  • If he were to run a business or do a job for a day that he’s currently not, what would it be? 47:51
  • What’s the smallest decision Ryan’s made that’s had the greatest impact on his life? 48:31
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 49:39

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Ryan Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube
Cohost: Andy Dix
Powered By: Kennected (Save $500 on your onboarding call by using this link!)
Andy’s Interview of Mel McMahon
AoL Interview with Chris Tuff
Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning
5 Minute Journal App
Bonds that Make Us Free – Terry Warner
Creativity Inc – Ed Catmull
High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

The Power of the Collective Mindset Report

Introduction to the Digital Mindset Coach

Ryan is Interviewed by Sagi Shrieber

Ryan’s Interview with TJ Hoisington


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

safe neighborhoods

Dale Brown – Creating Safe Neighborhoods – Why Knowledge of Self Defense is Vital to a Free Society (AoL 177)

During the civil unrest of 2020, there’s been a lot of talk about how to create safe neighborhoods for everyone. However, this isn’t a new topic by any means. In fact, it’s an issue that many cities have been dealing with for a number of decades.

For example, here in Indianapolis, we’re way ahead of the curve when it comes to homicides for the year. It’s only June and we have had over 100 people killed. This curve has been rising year after year.

Add to that the frustration people have with law enforcement and the systems in place for their accountability, and it only makes sense that there’s protests.

However, where many people draw the line is when those protests turn to violence. When protests turn to riots, that’s where the message starts getting lost.

So, if people want to make a change for the better, wouldn’t it make sense that they do so in non-threatening manner?

This session’s guest, Commander Dale Brown of the Threat Management Center in Detroit, MI, believes that’s the case. On top of this, through his experience of over 25 years, he also believes that when people know a bit about self protection, crime in neighborhoods tends to go down.

In this session, Veronica and I learn why this is the case, and what society can do to erase the man made construct of race all together.

If you’re a peace loving individual and have wanted to have your voice heard, then perhaps Dale’s message is for you.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What drew Dale to Detroit to teach the east side community how to defend themselves? 8:08
  • When lots of people were leaving Detroit during the recession, why did Dale stick around and continue to develop the Detroit Threat Management Center? 12:04
  • How does Dale see Detroit’s current renaissance playing a part in the rather peaceful protests they’re seeing? 19:50
  • Since race is a manmade construct, what are some steps we as a society can do to get rid of it? 30:44
  • How has Dale had to pivot during the pandemic? 35:11
  • What are three books he gifts to others or tells them about? 39:23
  • In the last few years, what’s something Dale’s started saying no to and why? 40:11
  • What is something that’s $100 or less that’s changed his life? 49:02
  • Is there anything he believed as an 18 year old but now realizes is completely inaccurate? 49:46
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 51:17

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Something’s Off with Andrew Heaton Ep. 33 | Dale Brown Doesn’t Need a Gun | Guest: Commander Dale Brown

Something’s Off with Andrew Heaton Ep 69 | Race as a Social Construct | Guest: Commander Dale Brown

Introduction to the Threat Management Center on The Rock Newman Show

Threat Management in Startup Societies

Dale Brown – Detroit Threat Management Center – FULL CLASS at Anarchapulco


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

entrepreneurial mindset

Joe Trodden – Dissecting the Entrepreneurial Mindset – Why It Takes More than a Visionary to Achieve Great Things (AoL 172)

When it comes to the entrepreneurial mindset, most of the time we hear topics that the new business owner needs to know. It’s great to know that there’s so much support for folks new to the game. In fact, people like my unofficial mentor Pat Flynn and the crew over at Fizzle have made decent livings on helping these folks. (Which I admire because it’s really hard to grow a reputation in this market segment. The market is already saturated and many folks don’t or can’t pay at this stage in the game.)

However, there is market for entrepreneurs and business owners who have had a bit of success. This is the scaling stage – the stage that Veronica, Andy, myself, and previous cohosts of the show specialize in.

And depending on how they’ve grown the business to this point, the way that they’ll continue to grow is more than likely completely different than what got them to that level of success.

In today’s chat with Joe, Veronica and I are reminded that different personalities can build a business so far. It’s when you bring other complementary personalities to the table that you can obtain true greatness.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Joe find himself working in the mindset space? 10:12
  • What are some of the mental blocks Joe finds himself helping entrepreneurs with? 15:57
  • What major shifts should business owners take to see their business in a new light? 21:30
  • Is there a way for someone who’s had greatness to setup a system of making decisions to keep on that path of success? 30:39
  • What makes Joe excited for this upcoming year? 37:55
  • What one song, one book, and one film would he add to the world’s curriculum? 42:17
  • What’s something about entrepreneurship in the future that he’s excited about? 43:35
  • What message is a disservice to youth? 44:47
  • Is there something which costs under $100 that has changed Joe’s life? 46:12
  • Which decision has he made that’s had the largest impact in his life? 47:05
  • What one thing would he like to do in his life that no one knows about? 48:14
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 50:16

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Joe Sharing about Instructing on Toppa

Joe featured with Joshua Smith of the GSD Mode Podcast

Denise Walsh Interviews Joe

Joe’s interview with Larry Roberts on the Readily Random Podcast


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

business culture

Connecting the What with the Why: How to Create Business Culture and Strategy the Right Way

“Everything rises and falls on leadership” is a phrase often heard in the startup and corporate arenas. As we’ve talked about in the past, leadership can be described by our influence on others. And with that influence automatically comes our business culture.

As creatives, we need to be aware of this culture that we’re building from the very beginning of launching our business.


Why is that?

Well, culture can be defined as a pattern of beliefs, behaviors, and values, encouraged or discouraged by people or processes over time.

So that means, whether we’re actively promoting a certain culture or not, one is being formed around the work we’re already doing.

So let’s talk a little bit about how we can get ahead of that culture as we’re scaling and growing our business.

It Starts with a Mission

Last week I had the opportunity to be part of a workshop called the Mission Roundtable. In this workshop, we focused on helping people in business find out what their personal and corporate missions were and then use that info to determine their values and vision. Once those were clear, we then set out to learn how we can create a unique strategy and culture for our business.

As you probably guessed, I was all about the part where we focused on determining our missions. This is something that I’ve thought about in quite a bit in the last year or so. In fact we recently had a guest on the podcast to discuss it.

Being part of this roundtable was not only clarifying for me, but also validated what I’ve been finding out.

For me, the reason I went into this research was fairly straight forward. As I’ve met more and more people in the entrepreneurial space, I’ve learned that many new entrepreneurs fail to learn how to connect who and what they’re about with the work that they’re doing.

The problem with this is that they’ll start doing one thing, realize they’re not being fulfilled, and then go on to try something else that might fulfill them.

Basically, they’re recreating a job for themselves.

Not only that, but many go hard core into this new role, go crazy with the grind, and come out the other end thinking “I’m more unhappy now than I was when I started!”.

Finding your own mission and being part of a company that reflects those qualities is an important foundation in doing meaningful work.

Vision and Values

Once we have our mission and have aligned it with our business (or the organization we’re a part of), then we can move onto the next step.

Determining what your vision and values are.

Now, I’m sure if you’re reading this post you know what both are. Your vision is simply where you want to be. And your values are the characteristics of yourself and your team as you get there.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably even written them down for yourself sometime in the past.

It’s possible what you haven’t done yet is to think of those values and your vision from the perspective of your personal and company mission. Even more, many of us might not even be fully using the vision or values we currently have in place.

If you’re not utilizing your current vision and values, why is that? Where’s the disconnect? If you’re not sure, it might be time to draw up a new vision and values to get you there. It might be as simple as the fact you might have a mission now, but the vision and values don’t fit that mission.

All of this should be aligned.

Strategy and Culture

Ok, now that we have those fundamental building blocks in place, it’s time to come back to our business culture and strategy.

Without vision, we can’t really develop a strategy. And without values, we’re going to have a heck of time developing a culture.

Now that we have those in place, though, we can now develop both.

Strategy

So first thing is strategy. Of course, when we’re developing a strategy for anything, we need to know what the rules of engagement are. We want to make sure the moves we’re making aren’t leaving anything on the table. We also want to make sure we’re being as efficient as possible. 

To do that, we need guidelines. 

Now that we have thought of our vision, we have these guidelines. 

We should also know 3 things:

  • What our company does.
  • Who the customer is.
  • What our customer values.

Once you know what those are, you can much more easily build your strategy.

  • Of course you want to begin with the end in mind, so what do you want to achieve in 3-5 years?
  • What options do you have to get there?
  • After choosing an option, what are your next steps? Reverse engineer from where you want to be from where you’re at.

Many make the mistake of not being clear with the answers to these questions, so while you might be taking action, you’re not actually getting anywhere because you haven’t clearly planned out what you want.

Culture

When it comes to building culture, for many creatives it’s seen as something that they can put on the back burner. What’s the point of building a culture when it’s perhaps just you and a few VA’s?

While this perspective might seem ok when you’re first starting up, it can cause big issues in the long run.

However, because we’ve already developed our list of values, then getting an idea for what our culture is isn’t really too difficult.

Organizational Clarity

First thing? Let’s look at the big picture and get organizational clarity. Here’s a few things to consider:

  • What’s our brand and story say about us? When people think of what we’re doing, what comes to mind? How are we described?
  • What’s the structure of the team? If it isn’t formed yet, what will it be? Will there be a hierarchy? Will it be centralized with you in the center? Or will you be part of a decentralized team?
  • What roles are there and what is each person in charge of? The more defined this is from the get go, the less problems there will be down the line.
  • What’s our communication process?

Leadership Clarity

When it comes to leadership in our organization we need to lead by example. Do that and I think you’re at least halfway to being a great leader.

That said it also helps to make sure that our team can work autonomously. While we might want certain things done a specific way, it’s important that we don’t feel the need to constantly micromanage.

However, many times we aren’t always at the top. And in those instances, we have to be aware of where we fit and interact with those around us. 

John Maxwell addresses this in the 360 Degree Leader. In the book, he shows middle managers how to leverage their unique positions and become 360 degree leaders by exercising influence in all directions–up (to the boss), across (among their peers), and down (to those they lead). 

While he goes into much more detail, the gist is that we need to do a few things as a middle manager:

  • Follow our leaders humbly. (Without being a yes man.)
  • Inspire those around us (by example).
  • Manage our subordinates individually. (Never criticize in public.)
  • Influence Lovingly (Don’t have an ulterior motive.)

Relational Clarity

Finally, when it comes to where the rubber really meets the road, it’s all about relationships. Another book of John Maxwell’s (and a favorite of mine) is called Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. And really, the better our relationships with those around us are, the better the system works.

To make sure that we’re connecting with those around us in our work, it’s important to focus on a handful of principles here as well:

  • Define and pursue the same goals (teams with goals win, those that don’t lose)
  • Believe in something bigger than ourselves (believe you’re in it for the greater good!)
  • Collaborate rather than compromise
  • Develop strong relationships (care about others, they’ll care about you)
  • When necessary, engage in constructive conflict resolution.

Action Steps

So as you can see, it’s imperative that we do the work to zero in on what our personal and business missions are. Only when we have them can we build on those to develop our culture. When we have the culture we want, it’s so much easier to build and scale our businesses simply because those folks who don’t fit, normally filter themselves out before they start working with you. 

If they do fit the culture, then it’s so much easier to move forward and actually accomplish goals.

So, again, if you haven’t done so yet, start from the beginning and determine your own personal mission by checking out Uncover Your Personal Mission. From there, work out the other sections until you have an idea for how things are going to be handled differently by your current or future team.