Overcoming Depression and Becoming the Hero of Your Own Movie

Here’s a short list of seemingly unsurmountable challenges Kevin Rempel has struggled through:

  • During a hunting trip with Kevin, Gary, Kevin’s father, fell from a tree and became paralyzed
  • Years later in 2006, Kevin crashed hard in a Motocross accident and became an incomplete Paraplegic
  • It took 6 weeks for Kevin to wiggle his first toe, 10 months in a wheelchair before walking (Doctor’s said he’d never walk again) and a full year after his injury before Kevin rode his dirt bike again
  • In July of 2007, Kevin’s father took his own life after years of battling with depression and addiction
  • Carrying the personal burden of depression on multiple occasions, hitting him particularly hard after the 2014 Sochi Paralympics

With that background of suffering, you’d think Kevin would be a broken man. But in fact, that couldn’t be further from his reality.

Never Give Up Kevin RempelI call Kevin the resilience ninja as he blows me away time and time again with his ability to not only deal with, but absorb life’s challenges and turn them into fuel. Through his incredible journey to the Olympic podium, winning Bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, Kevin now brings his powerful message of hope and resilience to audiences through his speaking and writing. His personal story inspires others that even when you have every reason to quit, you must keep moving forward. It’s up to you to rise above it all and become the hero of your own movie.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to share Kevin’s unique personal philosophies with you here.

If you prefer these tips in video, please click this link.

Kevin’s 3 Breakthroughs in Resilience

His first step is to take personal responsibility of your situation. When you’re in the mud and it feels like nothing is going your way, it’s so easy for us to point fingers and look for someone to blame. Kevin believes strongly that although we’re not always responsible for what happens to us, we are responsible for what we do about it. As one of my personal hero’s, retired Navy Seal Jocko Willink puts it, “You must own everything in your world. There is no one else to blame.”

Once we detach ourselves emotionally from our position,  taking responsibility allows us to focus forward. We can then, and only then, become pragmatic and realize potential paths out of the mud.

Now that we’ve taken personal responsibility, it’s time to take things one step at a time. Kevin says that,

“Ordinary actions taken consistently lead to extraordinary results long term.”

In his own life he tries to focus on the small things that make a big difference. For example, after the Sochi Paralympics in 2014, Kevin fell into a deep depression that was virtually unbearable. He stopped working out, was going out late and partying with the wrong circle, he had no goals and was spiralling downward. When he looks back at how he overcame those circumstances he recalls a single grocery trip where he chose a bag of apples over chips. 

He often needs to reminder himself not to overcomplicate resilience and happiness. Often, it’s as simple as the opposite of whatever got you knee deep in the mud in the first place. For Kevin, his glorious journey from depression to progression all started with a bag of damn apples. The same is true for us. It doesn’t need to be drastic or something profound. As Kevin says, take things one step at a time. Establish some new disciplines. Be the hero, pick your ass up and take the first step.

Finally, never give up. To Kevin, this was clearly never an option. Seeing his father take his own life was the only example he ever needed of what he wouldn’t tolerate for himself. That mentality has translated into his career as an athlete and now today as an entrepreneur. And he wants the same for you. Be the hero of your own movie. The ending of your story is yet to be written and every day is an opportunity to write a new chapter.

Because of my association with Kevin, I’ve changed my belief system around obstacles. I used to hate problems and found the roadblocks of life to be draining, painful and unfair. Now, I realize it’s the journey of going through the trenches and getting yourself to the other side where your resilience is built and your character is developed.

Practical Tips of Starting Your First Business

Kevin is a huge advocate for testing your market before diving in head first. Throughout my formal education in entrepreneurship we’d call this developing product market fit through a minimum viable product.

In the early stages of the Sledge Hockey Experience, Kevin tested his business model with a paying customer. He got great feedback, testimonials, and knew in his gut that he had something great. He went on to test the experience with two other events before going all in. It was only after three paying customers that he sold his own rental properties and Harley Davidson to infuse the company with cash and get it off the ground. 

He encourages budding entrepreneurs to test their markets and focus on delighting people. He’s created a product and service that provides more value than what you pay for. And because he loves what he does, he’s always willing to go the extra mile. His personal commitment to delighting customers reminds me of a Seth Godin quote,

There are two paths, really:

“I will serve just enough to make the maximum profit” or “I will profit just enough to provide the maximum service.”

The Sledge Hockey Experience is a shining example of profiting just enough to deliver the maximum level of service. A commitment to excellence worth striving for.

Kevin’s 2 Cents on Life Long Leaning

At the time of this interview Kevin was reading a book about Public Speaking to help him grow that segment of his business. Out of personal curiosity, knowing how many plates he’s spinning and how well he’s already doing, I asked Kevin why. Here’s his response,

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

He expressed that if he, or anyone else, wants to get to the point where we can double our speaking fee year over year, we need to take deliberate action, invest in ourselves and surround ourselves with quality mentors and coaches. He reads books to shed light on his blind sides or things he’s never thought about implementing in his businesses before. Getting from where you’re at to where you want to go is a process of growth through learning, the application of those new ideals, and iteration along the path to our goals.

You and I better be willing to work hard too, because whether we see it or not, there’s hustlers like Kevin Rempel out there putting in the reps, reading the books, and working hard behind closed doors.

Do this.

  1. Do the opposite of what got you in the mud in the first place and focus on the little steps that can point you in the right direction. For example, go buy a bag of damn apples and eat them!
  2. Test your assumptions before diving in head first. Kevin did 3 events before he went all in on the sledge hockey experience. Avoid throwing caution to the wind and look before you leap.
  3. Buy Still Standing. If you want to get to know Kevin Rempel in-depth and be inspired like never before, his book will speak to your heart and remind you of the beauty of this day. When I’m having a tough day and can’t keep my challenges in perspective I lean on Kevin’s story to never give up.

Audio show notes:

  • : 00 who is Kevin repel
  • 1:50 what is the sledge hockey experience
  • 3:30 how to give an elevator pitch
  • 5:50 Kevin’s personal story of overcoming obstacles
  • 8:20 being the hero of your own movie.
  • 8:55 Kevin 3 major tenants of resilience
  • 10:50 transparent reflection about leadership from team canada
  • 15:00 Self talk during dark times
  • 17:00 Blueprint to depression
  • 20:00 how to get the first couple sales as an entrepreneur
  • 22:00 document rather than create on social
  • 28 writing the book still standing
  • 31:30 lifelong learning

Till next time stay on offence. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You can’t change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

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Selling from the stage with Ronnie Fisher

Ronnie Fisher is a real estate investor, success coach, a motivational speaker and the host of momondays Niagara. He’s been featured on several TV shows, radio and podcast interviews and we were lucky to block off some time to have him on the show! Having taught english overseas he’s developed a passion for education that’s translated into personal development and real estate investment seminars.

Ronnie Fisher HeadshotHis purpose in life is to educate, inspire, motivate and encourage others to discover their passions, dreams and design a blue print to achieve their life goals.

Right off the bat we spent time talking about adequately preparing for your next high stakes performance!

 

(If you prefer these tips in video, check out our interview here.)

Preparing to for the stage

As Ronnie put it,

“Context is king.”

As speakers it’s our responsibility to know our audience, the venue and the expectations from the organizers. In an informal setting such as momondays he often finds himself speaking off the cuff and delivering whatever his heart speaks to him in the moment. He often has the luxury of introducing friends and the environment they’ve developed is that of authenticity and raw storytelling. Therefore it’s only fit that his performance follow suit and matches the context of the setting.

On the other hand, in a professional context such as a business meeting, pitch or weekend long real estate investment seminar, going with your heart simply won’t cut it. According to Ronnie, Disciplined and rigorous preparation of our material will help you:

  • Know where you are in your presentation how long you have left
  • Deliver the highest quality content for your audience
  • Create consistent, measurable and therefore improvable results

Any of those outcomes separately is enough to justify hours of preparation before your next big presentation. The aggregate makes it non-negotiable.

Sell the feeling

Selling from the stage can often be high pressure for the speakers. You’re being counted on to deliver and the lack of results can be devastating for the event organizers and the business as a unit. Fortunately for us, Ronnie was willing to share his battle tested strategies to maximize your potential to sell.

Ronnie painted the picture for us of a brand new shiny red corvette. Why would someone buy a luxury vehicle like that? Cars simply get you A to B and a $30,000 cheaper car would do the exact same job. With that philosophy it’s virtually never a logical decision. The answer is that people aren’t buying the corvette. They’re buying the way owning, driving and sitting in the car makes them feel.

red corvette

And that’s exactly what Ronnie recommends for those selling from stage. It’s critical we tap into the reasons why people would benefit from our product or service at an emotional level. Will it help them get out of debt? And if so, what would that make them feel? Would it help them send their kids to college? And if it did, what would be the impact of their children and their children’s, children.

By focusing on the feeling, and the why, we’re able to tap into the part of humans that make decisions and take action. He further reinforces the idea by reminded us to tell deeply personal stories that will resonate with the audience.

For example, by opening ourselves up to where we were, where we are today as a result of taking actions or using xyzzy product or services, and where we will be in the future by consistent action and following a system, others can see themselves in our shoes. If someone says, “aha!” I’m just like Ronnie and would love to get to where he’s at, they’re much more likely to commit than if you didn’t tell stories or if their internal dialogue is, “Ronnie just doesn’t get me.”

Book recommendation

One book in the last 5 years has made a lasting impact on Ronnie’s life and that was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I’ve personally read it multiple times and I know that many of the individuals I look up to (Ronnie included) encourage people in their lives to allow the book to support them in finding success. Napoleon Hill lays out a blueprint for us to accomplish our goals and if you work the plan, it works.

Today, Ronnie continues to be inspired by the work and has developed a personal mission statement based off it’s principles.

Mission statement

His purpose in life is to educate, inspire, motivate and encourage others to discover their passions, dreams and design a blue print to achieve their life goals.

Ronnie’s Do This Directives:

  1. Focus your preparation energies based on context. Ask yourself the questions, who’s in my audience, why are they here, how can I deliver the most value? Prepare accordingly.
  2. Think deeply about how you can resonate on an emotional level with your audience and prospects. Can they see themselves in your shoes? If not, remember that people buy from those that they like and trust. Start working immediately at weaving stories and a human element into your pitches.
  3. Invest in yourself and pick up Think and Grow Rich. Your future self and family will be immeasurably grateful you did.

Audio Show Timestamps

1:45 – how to resonate with the audience at momondays

4:45 – informal presentations

7:00 – formal presentations

8:30 – stay on time

12:00 – selling from stage

14:20 – people buy emotionally

16:45 – whats holding people back

20 – how to manifest your dreams

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out. 

How to win speaker slam with Dan Shaikh

Dan Shaikh is the Co-Founder of Speaker Slam – Canada’s Premier Inspirational Speaking Competition with over 200 attendees monthly and attracting a stellar lineup of speakers and professional judges. He is a Event Producer, Video Creator and a Process Specialist.

Dan Shaik HeadshotDan is also the Founder of Speaker Slam Video Productions empowering speakers to reach a bigger audience through video. His greatest passion and life’s mission is living and creating peak experiences for others.

We met now almost 2 years ago. In September of 2016 Dan was the President of the best Toastmasters group in the city, CSI Pitchmasters. I fell in love with the club and we’ve been great friends ever since.

In our interview together Dan speaks to:

  • How to win speaker slam
  • What to avoid on stage
  • How to crush it in front of and behind the camera
  • How event organizers actually choose speakers

(If you prefer these tips in video check out our interview here)

Win Speaker Slam in 3 steps

After over a year of competition and dozens of events Dan has seen speakers that have crushed the stage… And the occasional speaker thats flopped. He expressed that it’s key a speaker comes with at least 2 of the following three traits,

“Our top 4 always have these 3 things in common. They demonstrate genuine vulnerability, they make our audiences laugh or they show up with poise. The confidence, charisma, and x-factor that’s intoxicated to watch and we can’t take our eyes off them.”

On the flip side, here’s Dan major tips to avoid.

How to lose Speaker Slam

The most common speaker pitfall is that of the conversationalist. They show up without having prepared, not wanting to be too scripted and as a result their message doesn’t land or they choke. Consistently, the top 4 speakers and ultimately the winners are the most prepared and take their time on stage seriously.

The way I see it is that there’s no greater level of narcissism than believing you can walk up on stage after 9 prepared speakers and believe you’re so good that you didn’t need to prepare. Repetition is the mother of learning and it’s no exception here at Speaker Slam.

How to look good for an event planner

Not only is Dan onstage as a host of Speaker Slam, he also organizes the speakers, the venue and the event as a whole. As a result he’s witnesses hundreds of applications to compete and has developed a sharp eye to what stands out for event planners.

Dan said,

“Your branding starts with your profile picture. It speaks volumes about how invested you are in your career. You could easily look at all of the profiles of past speakers and point out the top 3-4 from each event based on their pictures. Those speakers are serious and make a big impression on event organizers.”

From there a logical progression is to develop your brand hosticially. Dan recommends thinking deeply about your presence on the main social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Youtube. Do you have video content? Are you writting? How are you staying relevant? If you fit the bill on these criteria you’ll be in an event planners good books.

Video Editing 101

Dan expressed to me that video is more important today than ever before (hence the video podcast). As a result, if you want your career as a speaker to grow, you need to be capturing yourself on video.

“If an event venue has 50 people in attendance and you crush it… You reached 50 people. If you crushed it AND captured it on video, than you have the potential to reach 5000 people by leveraging social media.”, Dan said.

I agree, don’t limit yourself to the confines of physical attendees. In addition, no meeting planner will ever take the risk on your as a paid speaker if they can’t see a quality speaker reel prior to the event.

Here is Dan’s top three tips to experiment with:

  1. Make the first 3 seconds as memorable as possible
  2. Invest in quality lower thirds
  3. Ensure your have either multiple angles, b roll, or jump cuts to keep your audiences attention
  4. BONUS* test subtitles as they can stop those scrolling mindlessly through Facebook in their tracks

How to kill it in front of the camera

The gave of video is simply a question of energy. If you’re a 5 in person, you need to 10x your energy on camera. It’s challenging to properly capture energy on video and so a 10 looks like an 8 and if you’re a 5 you look like a 1. Dan’s suggestion is to be more animated, speak louder and to show up with more energy than you would ever consider necessary.

If you want great examples of this check out Gary Vaynerchuk or Logan Paul.

Dan’s Do This Directives:

  1. If you want to dramatically improve your stage presence and fill in your current gaps than film yourself and review the content. I dive deeper into the need to film yourself for continuous improvement in this video (skip to 3:50 for the tip).
  2. Get a professional headshot… Yesterday! Take the first step towards your professional branding with a quality headshot. Then consider the way you’re showing up on social.
  3. Come/ Compete at Speaker Slam! You can find out more about the event and buy tickets here.

Show notes for the audio Podcast:

2:00 Me expressing my gratitude for Dan and his business partner Rina.

4:00 What is Speaker Slam?

5:30 How Speaker Slam started.

9:15 Tribute to Maria Rocellis.

10:30 How to work with a business partner.

12:31 How to make it into the top 4 at Speaker Slam.

15:30 What to avoid at Speaker Slam.

17:40 How to look good for event planners.

21:00 What do event planers want from speakers.

22:30 Why we need to create videos.

24:40 How to get more engagement on posts.

26:30 How to crush it editing videos.

32:00 The one thing you should be doing today.

Till next time, stay of the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

 

The Science of Persuasion and Logos – IWTYTS

We’ve made it!

Aristotle laid out three pillars to persuasion and our final to discover together is Logos. In an emotional and highly irrational world, do we still need to use logic in debate and rhetoric?

More than ever before.

Logos translates in greek to logic and helps your audience make sense of what you’re saying.

You want to make sure that everything you say has an understandable, logical, and has a real message. The supporting arguments should be clear and flow nicely into the main points. To develop this element, key questions to ask yourself are:

1. Does this message make sense?
2. Is the message based on facts, statistics, and evidence?
3. Will the call to action actually lead to an outcome the audience wants? Will it solve the problem that’s been presented?

With high logos you are less likely to have the audience turn to the person next to them or walk away saying “what the heck were they talking about?”

I highly encourage you to focus on structure in your presentations to develop logos. I cringe when I see speakers who have a lot of great information but it’s not organized. Who tell fantastic stories, but they’re irrelevant to the main theme and therefore do not persuade.

Let’s all just keep it simple. There are only a few main structures to presentations:

  1. Intro, body, conclusion
  2. The three act structure – same style, different name, where you have the context, climax and conclusion
  3. Tell them structure – Tell what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them

If you focus on structure and than back up that structure with messages based on fact and evidence that support your arguments, you will successfully inject logos into your rhetoric.

Now as I hope you’re aware of from our precious posts,

Aristotle intended us to use a combination of these three forces, ethos, pathos and logos rather than keeping them mutually exclusive.

Aristotle ethos pathos logos

These pillars intertwined create the greatest chance for influence. They are supportive, and complimentary, not independent. It reminds me of when I started my first business at 18. Our trainers would often coach that there are multiple kinds of people, sharks, whales, dolphins and sea urchins, and our responsibility as presenters pitching our ideas would be to appeal to them all. The same is true here.

In each audience there will be people who just aren’t persuaded by what school you went to or what clothes you wear. There will be people who make decision solely on their gut, on emotion, and if you’re unable to appeal to that person, you will not influence them. And finally, there will be analytical people in your audiences. Are you giving them the stats and evidence and logic they need to make an informed decision, because if you aren’t it’s highly likely you’re missing out on business or changed lives.

Ultimately , my hope and vision for you is to allow these concepts of persuasion, ethos, pathos and logos to sink deep into your subconscious. For you to take them with you for the rest of your career so that when someone needs a sale made, they can call you, a relationship built, they know who to ask, or someone to change the world, you are the one on stage delivering that message.

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

The Science of Persuasion and Pathos – IWTYTS

I’m excited now to uncover with you Aristotle’s second pillar of persuasion. His concepts can be seen throughout histories most influential orators. On demand they would allow their audiences to feel specific emotions at very specific times.

With pathos, you can too.

It’s not enough for a speaker to simply rely on Ethos or credibility because there will come a time when either you will not be a credible source on a topic or your audience isn’t that impressed or persuaded by ethos. You’ll need to dig deeper into your tool belt as an influencer and remember how essential emotion plays in your ability to persuade.

While ethos translated into credibility, pathos means experience.

The job of the speaker is to create an experience for the audience by appealing to the emotions that exist within them. By drawing out these emotions the speaker keeps the audience feeling engaged and interested. It’s important to recognize that emotion doesn’t need to only mean sadness, anger and fear but should also include joy, excitement, and a myriad of other feelings.

It’s our responsibility as communicators to choose which emotions are appropriate at any given time, and learn how to evoke these emotions. Typically, the best way to give the audience a memorable experience is to evoke contrasting emotions throughout the speech, almost like a smooth roller coaster of ups and downs.

Rollercoaster image

With high pathos, your audience is more likely to feel connected to you, trust you, be persuaded by your message, and follow through with your calls to action.

Let’s talk the how:

Stories

This includes personal stories as well as simple anecdotes or even stories of others. For example, if I’m talking about mental health awareness I could say something like, “asking for help for the first time can be hard – I remember sitting down with my dad with a scar I cut into my own arm nervous and unsure about what I was going to say…”

Painting the picture of sitting down with my dad with the scar on my arm, feeling nervous and uncertainty, draws your audience into your memory. This is often the quickest way to establish emotional connection with the audience and is likely going to be one of the most memorable moments of the presentation.

Pro Tip – Lead by example. Mirror the emotions you would like your audience to feel. Believe it or not – it works! If you are describing a wonderful moment, for example, amplify and show the joy in your face, voice, and posture. On a subconscious level the audience will see the way you are speaking and use that as a cue for the emotions they should experience.

So avoid the mistake of 90% of speakers who tell as sad story with a smile on their face or share their vision with a monotone voice. Ensure that your non-verbal communication reflects the emotions you want your audience to experience, it will magnify the impact.

Analogies and Metaphors

These comparisons allow you to build on the understanding and emotions an audience already feels for something. For example if you speak about gang violence, you might

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 5.40.52 PM.png
Iain Gabriel in Action

plainly state that, “We have a problem in our city…” On the other hand, you might say, “we have a cancer in our city…” The latter analogy draws on your audience’s pre-existing feelings about cancer, and makes them want to move or take action towards a solution.

I’ll bring my good friend Iain Gabriel onto a future video for you to learn first hand from a masters of taking advantage of metaphors and analogies.

Humour

Humour typically involves story telling and often allows the audience to connect to you on more of a friendship level. The audience laughing and having a good time also allows them to stay attentive and engaged with the content.

Disconnected audience are not easily persuaded.

Do This.

As you go out and try tell better stories, use more vivid language and analogies, make your audiences laugh and lead by example. As a final tip, Aristotle intended for us to associating positive emotions with our main calls to action (whatever your cause or takeaway) and more negative emotions surrounding the issues we seek to address.

You, like histories most influential orators, are now armed to go on stage and into your everyday life to use pathos, to use emotion to elicit your desired response in every interaction. Whether that be action towards your cause, buying your product or just simply living a better life.

My question to you is, what are you going to do with it?

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

IWTYTS – Ethos and the Science of Persuasion

Part of what I believe my responsibility is with “I Will Teach You To Speak” is to support those who have great messages, who have ideas and abilities that that if coupled with persuasion could yield real world change. And I’m such a champion for those people because influence and rhetoric is a skill that can be acquired, not some inherent trait confined to our genes and those people who find themselves in the lucky sperm club.

In fact, it was over 2000 years ago that one of the worlds most renown Philosophers, proved that anyone could learn to influence. In Arabic Philosophy he’s touted as the first teacher, and in the western world as THE Philosopher. Aristotle, introduced a science to rhetoric and persuasion. He introduced a clear and repeatable formula for

Aristolte image

those curious enough to improve their careers, get the girl of their dreams, and make the world a better place with their communication. I’ve taken advantage of his teachings and I hope you do too.

There’s three essential pillars to Aristoles science of persuasion, Ethos, Pathos and logos.

In this article we explore how you can immediately start implementing one of my favourite tools of persuasion, ethos! And if you’re not, why you should reconsider your approach at communication to insert these essential tools starting today.

Ethos translates to credibility.

You know when you walk into the doctors office and they have 5 certificates on the wall demonstrating all of their accolades and education? They’re using ethos or credibility as a form of influencing you to believe their suggestions will be true and acceptable.

We need to do the same thing as communicators.

When you get up on stage, here are a few areas to focus on so that you can demonstrate more credibility and make it much more likely that your audience will agree with you and be persuaded.

Authority

Fortunately as a speaker you will inherently have authority. Someone chose you to be on stage her today to speak on the subject of x, y or z! In addition, I’d also challenge you to consider your non verbal communications and how your body language is increasing or taking away from your authority with the audience. Relaxed shoulders, strong posture, and firmly planted feet are all excellent indicators that you’re sharp as a tact and an expert worth listening to.

Reputation

Reputation relates to your experience and expertise. The audience is much more likely to listen to the speaker who’s written a best selling book and has 15 years of experience in the industry vs someone who’s fresh out of college with no reputation. It’s absolutely critical that you never stop learning, growing and cultivating new insight as a communicator.

me and marc c.JPG

When I asked my CEO early into my new career how he got where he is, he said that he started exactly where I was starting as an entry level salesmen. From there he became such a product expert on what he was selling that not only did he become the #1 salesmen in the entire company and become a millionaire, conferences in the medical equipment industry around North America would seek him out frequently to speak at their events. He developed the reputation of an expert and his influence followed.

Trustworthiness

Being trustworthy is as simple as coming across as an honest, ethical, and genuine human being. You can accomplish this through:

  • Simling
  • Being genuine to your story
  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Having open non verbal communication
  • Saying things like, “I pride myself on my long term relationships” or “I pride myself on doing whats right by my customers”

Similarity

Can you find common ground with your audience? Can see you life, problems and possible solutions through their eyes? Take the time before presentations, sales calls or your next meeting to feel empathy and attempt to step into their shoes, it’s powerful. By forming common ground, they are way more likely to identify with you and be receptive of your messages. In addition, use strategies like adapting your language, mannerisms, style, dress, etc. to identify with your audience while still remaining genuine (don’t take it too far).

Let’s jump back to the horses mouth before I give you a real challenge to start using today.

Aristotle said 2000 years ago that,

“If any of these elements of credibility were missing, if there was any question whatsoever about your character as a person, your practical intelligence on this specific subject, or good will, than the audience will question and doubt that what you’re saying is the best suggestion with the purest of intentions.”

So now that you know how important credibility and ethos are… Here’s what I want you to do.

Do This.

1. Become an expert. Develop deep expertise in the topics you speak about. As Gary V would say, “stay in your lane.” If you do that, your expertise will be enough to help differentiate you from other speakers.
2. Analyze your audience and have empathy for them. If you can find common ground or get them to say, “he understands me or he’s just like me” you will find your audience will be much more receptive than ever before.
3. Show up early to welcome the audience. It builds trust and shows you care.
4. Remember something a previous speaker said, repeat it and give them credit.
6. Stay late and make yourself available for the audience, organizer and any questions.

I’m in agreement with Aristotle when he said that if you display all these traits of credibility, it cannot rationally be doubted that your suggestions are credible.

Do yourself a favour, become an expert, go the extra mile to understand who’s in the audience and than show it. If you do, credibility will become a powerful tool for you on the path to influence.

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

LLL v3 – Don’t hold back your people

I fundamentally misunderstood the purpose of leadership as President of CSI Pitchmasters.

I thought club membership growth was a measuring stick of my leadership.

I thought successful events was an indicator of my influence.

I thought being called, “the best president we’ve ever had,” meant I was doing everything right.

I was certainly and without a doubt wrong. The truth is I failed as a leader.

Not because anyone said so, as you can see from above I’ve been praised over and over again for my dedication to our members, for representing our club professionally, and for ensuring that we meet our club key performance indicators, I say I failed because I know it in my heart of hearts that anyone could have done what I did this past year.

Dissapointed in mirror

It’s relatable to being a peacetime general. In good times, when you’re growing, when the revenue curve is going skywards, you don’t really see leadership. In fact, it’s not really that important. Everything’s working with or without great leadership. When you need leadership is when things go wrong. It’s when the curve flattens, you’re losing members/ employees, the economy tanks.

But my lousy leadership wasn’t that I didn’t make more problems that I could stand up heroically and solve. My biggest mistake is that i didn’t take advantage of the most important function of a leader during peace times. Developing other leaders.

The leaders most important task is to take good people and make leaders out of them.

You see, in any organization whether that be a non-profit like CSI Pitchmasters, your own business, or even your families and communities, people are the only assets that can continually appreciate. Systems become outdated, buildings deteriorate, machines wear down, but people can grow, develop and become more productive and effective if they have a good leader who understands their value.

Over the past 12 months I’ve been surrounded by 5 incredible board executives and over a dozen members all of which I’m extremely fond and proud of. Saying that I haven’t seen tremendous growth in them right before my eyes would be a lie. But their incredible growth is a by-product of an environment we’ve created, nothing to do with my personal leadership. In fact, it’s so clear to me now that on many occasions I was standing directly in the way of their growth. Here’s why: I didn’t give my team the space to fail and win and because I was insecure.

I took on jobs that should have clearly been delegated. And tasks that would have been huge confidence boosters for members, ended up on my plate because I didn’t set proper expectations and encourage members to take them on with pride and enthusiasm. When I look back, most of the talk about being an awesome president was because I took on so much work, personally.

We all had it twisted.

The best leaders would have inspired, delegated, and encouraged its members to take on the work and grow personally. They would have consistently modeled the behaviour they wanted to see,  mentored the team to acquire new skills, recognized their personal accomplishments and established the right support systems incase there were challenges.

That is the role of the leader!

Not taking on all the work, but ensuring the team grows in the pursuit of accomplishing lofty projects. If you’ve experienced this problem as well or want to be wise and avoid these mistakes as a leader completely, follow these two principles.

It’s in a leaders best interest to let your team win or lose

Understanding your teams abilities will multiply your effectiveness. The first step to great leadership is to surround yourself with people of great potential. That wasn’t my problem. My problem was that I didn’t know how to properly delegate responsibilities and tasks. Instead of recognizing my teams strengths and capabilities, I did everything myself. When I should have been confident in my team and motivated them to take on projects, I stepped in and stunted their growth potential.

team sleeping GIF by gamingWhat I’ve learned is that it’s important to give your team opportunities to show you and themselves that they are capable. Fostering leadership is about putting people in a position to become leaders themselves. And to do that without micromanaging. I didn’t clue into the fact that it was actually in my best interest all along to let them win or even fail because then you both know moving forward whether or not they’re suited for that task. Once you know what your team is and isn’t capable of you can delegate appropriately and multiply effectiveness.

Great leaders are not threatened by people with great potential

Gary Vaynerchuk has an excellent analogy where he says that as an entrepreneur building a company he wants to build the biggest building in town. And he wants to do that by building the biggest building in town… Unlike how most other business people do it by tearing down other people’s building.

Gary v biggest building

When it comes to my relationships with people I’ve definitely never purposefully tried to build a bigger building by tearing down anyone’s building, but I sure have been threatened by others buildings. I’m being very transparent for the sake of drilling deep into my own personal psychology when I say that I do avoid giving others opportunities, or share their work when I love it, or hold on to my own personal learning because I’ve convinced myself that if I do, they will build a bigger building than me.

Joze Piranian bumped me out of the Speaker Slam Grand Slam first place spot by .5 in November of 2017 and I still haven’t shared his incredible speech on Facebook (until now). I don’t share valuable insights that I know could help my roommate, Iain, because he’s already so damn smart and it exposes my insecurities. Finally, I don’t pass along all of the best practices in selling I’ve learned with specific members of my team at work because with it I know they’d outsell me.

Why? Because I’m not secure as a leader.

It’s an unproductive, disempowering, and candidly a pathetic place to come from as a leader. Fortunately I recognized the need for change.

Great leaders, the type of leader I want to become, are not threatened by people of great potential.

Great leaders want to lift them up and help them soar higher. I’ve learned that in order to be a great developer of people you need to be personally secure, because taking people to the height of their potential may mean they will pass you by…

And that’s okay. Our job as a leader isn’t to look good or to be at the top of some hierarchy. It’s to work hard and model the behaviour we want to see in our people. It’s to mentor and coach potential leaders to achieve big goals, goals bigger than the individual.

It’s about developing other leaders.

This radically transparent reflection, while painful, is necessary. It’’s not only necessary for me to be completely honest with myself, but it’s also critical for you, if you also want to step into a leadership role, to see yourself in my example. To decide whether or not you’re truly developing people or if you’re holding them back because of micromanagement or insecurity.

Do this.

  1. Give your team the space and opportunity to win and lose. Taking on all the work may get you short term credit and pleasure, but it doesn’t lead to long term satisfaction, trust and results. I want to challenge you to give your teams more challenging tasks and coach and encourage them until they’ve stretched into the leader they have the potential to be.
  2. Seek ways to elevate your team higher than yourself. Just like you move beyond mentors and coaches when you’re ready, the same should be happening with your people. If you’re maximizing your responsibility as a leader they should surpass you in skill and ability as well. Give them the strength, encouragement and recognition they deserve. It will only make the world a better place.

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight. But you can change the direction.”

-J

Out.