298 - Hustling Sideways with Jim Love - John Laurito
Episode 298 - Hustling Sideways with Jim Love | Tomorrow's Leader Podcast with John Laurito

298 – Hustling Sideways with Jim Love

Today host John Laurito is joined by Keynote Speaker and Podcast Host Jim Love. They talk about Jim’s podcast, Hustling Sideways, how it has grown, and at what point he stopped relying on feedback as a measurement of how well his show’s performance. He also shares who influenced him to become a speaker and a piece of advice for people who are new to being a leader.

Jim Love is 30 years old and was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. Jim attended Marquette University and graduated in 2013 with degrees in Corporate Communications and Marketing. After years of exploring leadership development, Jim has decided to follow a calling and spread his message of authenticity and positivity. He has spoken to several thousand high school students across the country. Bad jokes and dance moves aside, Jim has a passion for leadership development and working with high school and college students. He will share his life experiences and connect with you on a personal and real level. As a lifelong stutterer, he understands what it takes to overcome obstacles and adversity and will motivate the crowd to take on their own obstacles in a real way. His message focuses on authentic leadership, self-love, gratitude, and mental health.  Some say he “brings the party.”

Jim received his start when he was selected for the Illinois Leadership Seminars (ILS) in 2007. This organization is a 3-day seminar that takes one representative from hundreds of high schools around the state and unleashes their leadership potential. Through keynote talks, activities, panel discussions, etc., students are challenged to think differently and accept themselves as a leader. Jim has been on the staff of this organization for 13 years and now is a regular part of the weekend’s programming.

Connect with Jim at:

[0:00] Intro

[1:57] How did Jim start the podcast?

[4:20] Has the show grown more than he thought?

[7:58] How did he stop relying on others’ feedback and trust his self-satisfaction?

[16:17] How does Jim mentally handle audiences who’re not focused when he speaks?

[21:37] On developing a commanding presence and who influenced him to become a speaker

[26:48] What is his advice to people who struggle with being a leader?

[32:46] Where to find more of Jim?

[34:50] Outro

Get a copy of “Tomorrow’s Leader” on Amazon.

John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader. 

John Hey, they’re tomorrow’s leaders. So I loved this conversation I had with our guest today, Jim Love. He was introduced to me by my friend Peter Velarde. So thank you, Peter. And Jim runs a podcast. He’s a host of a podcast called Hustling Sideways, a really, really cool podcast. He had me on as a guest. It was a lot of fun. Definitely check it out. But Jim offered a lot around just qualities of a leader overcoming fears and gratitude. I mean, just it was a fun conversation and I think you’re going to get a ton out of it. He’s a really great guy with a great story and a great message. So here is Jim Love. 

John All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep into all things leader related to leading yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito, your host. I got another great guest for you today. I’ve got Jim Love. He’s the founder and CEO of “Authentically You” speaking. He’s also the podcast hosts a really great podcast called Hustling Sideways. I was lucky enough to be a guest recently. Jim, welcome to the show. 

Jim John Thank you so much for having me and it takes a good podcast host to know one, so we’ll take it. I appreciate it. Appreciate the time and looking forward to our conversation. 

John You got it, my friend. Well, I had such a fun time on your podcast. That was a blast. And I love talking with you and I’m really looking forward to our conversations today. So first of all, just let’s start with the podcast. How did you get into the podcast? When did you start it? What was kind of your trigger to start it? 

Jim Totally. I love this story because it’s really it’s unique. So this was the end of 2020 going into 2021. And on Thursday morning I sent out a Snapchat, which I tend to do to a lot of my friends, asking them what their one word was for 2021. As we were moving out of 2020, I wanted to like reset refresh. I was like, I would love to hear what your one word is to focus on this year. And Alan, would you’ve now met my co-host responded with his one word and I don’t remember for the life of me, which is kind of lame. But either way, we started talking and I was like, That’s great, we should meet up. I’ve known him for ten years and we went to college together while we met up, we both realized we had a passion for leadership, for meeting people who are really into their passions and wanted to talk about it. 

Jim And it was over. We had a couple of beers and we’re just like, let’s, let’s start something, but just see what we can do with this. And about a month later, we recorded episode one of hustling sideways and had no idea what we were doing. I was not a podcast person. I’d been on them before but never hosted and went back and forth and it worked. It just sort of clicked and were very, you know, like kind of getting the hang of personalities and Ellen’s fantastic and I mean, no, I’m kidding. But it was a nice kind of give and take. And then we decided, let’s have some guests and let’s talk to our friends and find out what they’re really interested and passionate about. And, you know, 30, some 40, some odd episodes later, we’re still doing it. And it’s been a blast. 

Jim And I know you mentioned at your point just really diving into leadership. We both love that. And Elon has his world. I have my world. And it meshes together. And we’ve been able to meet some amazing people from now, I think, about 18 different states, which has been just awesome. And we expect it to be really more like Milwaukee based because we’re both pretty passionate about the city that we’re in here, but and ended up being friends that introduced us to friends. That’s how we met you. And the next connection is always the best one. So that’s how it started. And it’s going to be we’re going to be going on two years here. And I think if I’m doing that math right and it’s been a blast and, you know, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And it’s just it’s such good use of time and meeting people and talking about fashion. So yeah, started with Snapchat and now we are where we are and have a lot of fun. 

John I love that. You know, and that’s a really cool story and how you guys came together and you do a great job, you know, you feed off of each other, you make it very comfortable. So has the show grown? Has the show grown a lot as it grew more than you thought it would? And what’s that been like? 

Jim Totally. Yeah. We really do this day still don’t expect, you know, like we knew that people were going to be interested in things like this, but we really, truly thought it was going to be like a, like a, a small city based type of thing where people from Milwaukee will come in. The fact that we’ve gotten, you know, folks from all different crafts, all different passions, different states, we’ve had people now I just met a Canada listener the other day who is who’s going to be on soon. And he’s been listening to every, you know, iPad. So we really would love it to be, you know, continue to grow. But it’s gotten more folks than I anticipated and introduced me to more folks. I just didn’t know that like a simple concept of exploring people’s side passions in general or things that they’re really interested in. 

Jim What will garner so much attention, because it sounds so simple to me, like when I did it, I was like, this is just we’ll just talk, let’s see what happens. And I think people really feed off of our energy and want to talk to people who are generally interested in meeting them. And that’s what I found out, is when I’m talking to folks like I put my phone down, you know, I’m not like what we’re always still very hyper-focused on what’s next. And it’s really a good challenge for me to be in the moment and just ask questions and react and respond. You know, do our research. But at the end of the day, you know, I just sort of say what comes to my mind. And Alan and I really like meeting people. And that’s something that we share a passion for. And our individual passions are in different areas. 

Jim But that’s what I think has made it grow, are people I think can tell that, you know, we just sort of started this and we’re not in it for any other ulterior motive other than just to meet people and see where it goes. So, yeah, people dig that. And I think people dig authenticity and that’s what I found as a speaker generally, but that’s what’s helped it grow. And it’s, you know, we’ll continue. And, you know, like I said, our meeting, all these people, I never really anticipated it being a thing and it’s become a thing. And I meet people now all the time. They’re like, I love your podcast. I’m like, Well, that’s great. I didn’t expect that, but I’ll take it right. 

John You know what’s funny? And there are so many good lessons out of it because I found the same thing. I mean, you know, one of the challenges is you’re you don’t really know. You don’t have an audience, you don’t have a live audience, you don’t have visual nonverbal feedback or anything like that. So you just don’t know, is this episode landing in the right way, or do people like it, are they not? I mean, it’s really hard. And even some of the data you get with podcasting is not always, you know, real-time and exact. So you’re kind of got to trust your gut. You know, you exactly. You kind of gets a feel your way through it. And I’m sure you’ve found that same thing. And, uh, but wow, isn’t it cool when somebody says something like that? Hey, I listen to your podcast all the time. I get people to say that and I’m like, You do?

Jim I  mean, it’s powerful, you know? And I think part of that, too, like to your point of, you know, you just don’t really know what’s going to happen. One of our podcast gaffes like the first maybe five episodes said something that really impacted me is she’s a content creator, you know, she’s blogger videos, all that kind of stuff. And she was like, I don’t really care what people think. And she said it in a way of like, I thought that was so powerful because we, we put stuff out there and a lot of people do care what people think, you know, and, and I do sometimes, too. And I had to kind of let go of that to be like, if people don’t like this, they just won’t listen. And that’s, you know, okay, we’re not saying anything offensive or anything like that and we’re just putting ourselves out there. 

Jim And that really kind of helped shift my gears and to throw it out there, if they like it, fantastic. If they don’t fantastic, you know, like I’m still I’m enjoying it and that’s what counts. And yeah, that’s really where it almost took the pressure off and gave me creative freedom to do what I wanted to do and the same without, you know, to really make that happen. And, and that’s the result is that we’re more relaxed. We’re just like, if this goes well, great. And we think that you know, we feel that passion, energy with it. 

John So let me ask you that. That’s a great topic. I know a lot of people struggle with that. There are a lot of people out there that really need feedback. They rely on what people think and how people think. And what people think about them is extremely important, but it’s so limiting and it really is a handicapped feeling where you just you’re doing everything for other people. And I’ve lived in that zone for part of my life as well. And when you figure out how to get rid of that and get to you like your friend, the content creator, where you don’t care, you become a much better version of yourself. But how do you get there? I mean, how do you start to just judge how you do get your own self-satisfaction and you be your own measurement of how you did versus relying on everybody else to tell you? 

Jim Totally. I love that question. I realized probably my first couple of years at a college was that my success in anything that I experienced that, you know, is equal to success is all internal. You know, it’s up to me if I determine what I do is good. And it comes from a place of if what I’m doing is really fulfilling what I am. And so if I’m doing activities that are killing me, I really don’t care what people think about it because it’s my best self and I’m not you’re always going to counter your world is fairly negative. I think we all know that. And you’re going to encounter people who are haters and just don’t like you because you’re doing your thing. And that’s what I found. And, and so instead of focusing on them, like, I shifted gears to focus on the people that are going to, you know, correspond with me positively. And I just sort of shield out the people that don’t like something because just they don’t want to. 

Jim You know, I think a lot of people are like that. They just choose that to be negative. And I focus on that for a while and I think a lot of people can. But at the end of the day, if you’re doing something that makes you really happy and you’re being authentic through it and showing your passion, it that’s a win-win. And you should keep doing that because it’s going to catch on at some point to someone. And even if it doesn’t, you’re you’re filling your cup box. And at the end of the day, if you’re doing that for yourself, you’re going to be able to put that positive energy on everyone that you encounter. And so no matter what, it’s going to be a win for you and me. It took me a while to sort of not care about those folks, and it’s not like I have a ton of haters. I shouldn’t say it that way, but they’re certainly people who, you know, I’ve been accused of toxic positivity. You know, every now and then I’m like, if you’re going to sit and, you know, and being your own negativity all the time, I can’t help you. And I thought that that’s. Thanks. I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling that way, but I’m going to keep doing me. And it’s something that works for me, you know, and it’s something I enjoy. So that’s the mindset that I’ve sort of created draw. 

John You’ve got to kind of mentally block those people out because you’re right, some people just they hate because they’re jealous. They’re envious. They see you do something they wish they could do or whatever the case may be. You don’t know what the source of it is. And to try and figure it out and try and appeal to that type of person is just a losing proposition. But we’re going to. Funny. You made me remember a story when my kids are the ones that really made me aware of it in a really funny way. I used to make them breakfast in the morning and I remember I was so and I still get like this kid. It’s just kind of fun if I cook something and I want to know how people like it. So if I made my kids pancakes, I’d be like, Oh, the pancakes guys. And they’d be like, Oh, they’re great. I’m like, Okay, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate them? And I’d have to go through this whole rating thing and they’re like, Dad, you can taste the pancakes yourself, right? You know how they are. 

John They do. They taste and they’d made a joke about it. I’m like, Yeah, I guess you’re right. You know, it doesn’t. I know how I did if I can taste it and see the result or whatever. But it’s funny, you remember the feeling even in a business where it’s like, you know, I do a presentation and you do a lot of keynotes. I’m going to get into that. And my, I didn’t feel good unless I got a certain very positive result. Even if I felt I knocked it out of the park, I did not feel good unless I got a certain reaction from the audience. And wow, that was tough. And no, you know, then it got to a point where it was like, you know, I felt I set the bar so high if I didn’t get a standing ovation, I felt like it wasn’t an A or an A-plus if I didn’t, you know? And it was like, well, not every some people love it and they won’t give of innovation and other people think it’s okay and they’ll still stand, you know, so you’re still not a good measurement of success. 

Jim But yeah, yeah, yeah. 

John So how do you do? You know what I’m talking about? I mean, you totally caught in that sometimes. 

Jim Or did you? Yes. Yes. My first few times speaking, I remember specifically probably my third time speaking, I had done one. It was like a freshman orientation at high school. And like I went in and I just turned up like I got while, you know, and I wasn’t sure how it went. And I remember not allowing myself to feel any emotion until I got the feedback and I was like, Let’s wait for that. And then I did. And the feedback wasn’t awesome, you know, and I totally like that. The talk went great and like, it was like maybe three people that gave something I wouldn’t say negative, but like, you know, I thought it was okay and like that like I was derailed from that. And I remember now I think back I’m like, but then there were 47 good comments that I didn’t focus on. And so that was really like a moment for me when I reflected on the like I needed it. Like not you’re not going to please everyone, anytime, anywhere. 

Jim It just won’t happen. And if you’re trying to do that, you’re, you’re going to lose. And, you know, you won’t succeed if you really focus in on the people that are gathering something from it or knowing that you went in and gave it your all like that’s really what I find my joy in now is I know how much I prepare, I know how much I practice. And then when I get into it, I give it everything I’ve got, you know, and I’m exhausted when I’m done. Yeah. And that is the success to me and I’m very confident in my message, I know that’s going to get through to some people at once, everyone. And that’s totally fine. But I’m no longer awaiting feedback from people and how many hours, you know, it was of this or of that. Like I’ve been doing this long enough where I’m my message I know is impactful. And now it’s like if I put work into it and I make it my own craft and I know how much preparation went into that, like that’s already before I get there, I’m like, I feel good about this. Yeah, I got to do this. And now it just becomes that, you know, the show. So totally like mindset difference between when I was like 23 and now 31 of, of not being a thing of really not relying on other people specifically to fulfill my craft. And I just that can’t be the case because I know what I can do. 

John Right? You’ve got to be your own measurement. And I think I think that’s such a great takeaway from this. You know, if you know, if if if listeners are out there struggling with that same thing, it’s, you know, number one, to know that you and I have been there and many, many people have been in that spot. And when you figure out how to change, use a different measuring stick, which is your own and not what other people say, but you control what goes in and you control how you do. And you control how you know how you did. You can measure it. You can say, all right, that was my A-game or That was my big game or whatnot. And as long as you feel like you delivered your A-game, great. 

John Give yourself the satisfaction, the pat on the back. It doesn’t have to be somebody telling you that. Wow, it was amazing. There are so many times I’ve been watching somebody speak or been through a meeting or an interaction or whatever, and I was so impressed with somebody. They did a phenomenal job and I didn’t tell them. It wasn’t deliberate. It wasn’t I just either didn’t have the opportunity or it just wasn’t in the moment or just didn’t come to mind, whatever. But if they were deriving their satisfaction purely on what I said, then they would have evaluated themselves as not being very great when I thought they were off the charts. Fantastic. I just didn’t communicate that. So I looked at it that way and I’m like, Yeah, you know what? That’s kind of interesting if many, many people are like me on that. And then there’s a lot of people that may think I did a great job and just not tell me, you know? 

Jim Exactly. Yeah. Like, we only really do it at the extreme end if something went horribly wrong or something was, like, monumentally life-changing. And we oftentimes don’t get feedback and the image wins right in the same way. Like, if I saw a speaker that did a good job, I’d be like, awesome, walk away and go on with life and, you know, and, and having that mindset of like the end user almost in a way is important. And you’re realizing that like, not everyone’s going to give this amazing thing, so derive it from your internal, you know, like what you’re doing, the work you’re putting in, that’s what counts. And at the end of the day, that’s that, that’s, that’s what you have full accountability for. And the only thing you can control is that that’s it. And you can’t control how people react to it or respond to it. It’s the work you put in. And that should be wherever that your pride comes from. 

John Yeah. How about when I know you’ve dealt with this? Because I have to. How about when you’re doing a presentation and you see someone or even a group of people in the audience that are just clearly not engaged? They’re on their phones, they’re talking to each other. Maybe they’re looking bored, maybe even they fell asleep. These are all things I’ve seen and had in audiences, whatnot. How do you handle that mentally? Because that also can relate to a lot of other things that people do. It doesn’t need to be standing on the stage. 

Jim Totally, totally. I had to figure this out pretty early on that I have to focus on the people that are not doing that because you’re going to get every time you give a talk, anytime you present something, not everyone in the room is going to be engaged and that’s totally fine. So Christian, the people who are and so I will pick out people right away that I can tell her. And even if it’s like staff members or where I’m at or like the boss or something of people, even setting an example. But I have like an audience avatar in my head of who I know I want to speak to. And so I’m trying to see that person and all those people who are engaged and just totally ignore the other folks. Because I’ve had that where I’ll see them, you know, they’re on their phone and that happens. That happens a lot. And like I’ll just like lose my train of thought and I had to retrain myself to. If I see that, I immediately block it out and look at the person next to them that’s like fully in and that helps me to block it out because it’s going to happen, right? Like you’re never going to have a moment unless you are the most famous person in the world and still people will have more be on their phones or whatever it might be. 

Jim And, you know, and you have to dove in. The folks that, you know, are trying because that’s what you’re speaking to. Like, at the end of the day, if people are going to choose not to listen to you, that’s their loss, you know, number one. But number two, it’s got nothing to do with you. You know, that’s really they chose to be there and they chose to distract themselves. And that’s fine. That’s the way the world works. But when I see the folks who are really, really listening and really engage and have a smile on their face and nodding, like, Yeah, that’s you I’m staring at each time I need to do audience interaction and like you can tell them right away. You could you can sense those people and block out the other ones because it just won’t it won’t help you or won’t help them. And they’ve decided they made the decision to not be present. And that’s okay. That’s something that they just tried to do. So the rest of the people who you should focus on. 

John Well, it’s interesting. I’ve got a story about that. I did a keynote earlier this year for the company at their leadership conference, and there was probably a beautiful auditorium. It was one of these stadium seating, arena-style type of things, and there were a few hundred people or so. So it was pretty crowded. And I remember in my presentation this whole section and it was front, it was right dead center, like midway up in the center. And so right in my eye, contact was just totally not responsive. When I say not responsive like I would make a joke or something and they would not even change their facial expression. They were just staring dead at me and I’m like, what the I mean, it really. And it got in my head a little bit. As much as I tried to block it out, I’m like, I tried not looking at them in the snap. Well, when I got done with the presentation, what I realized is the company did something kind of interesting. There were a bunch of people that couldn’t make it because we’re still kind of at the tail end of COVID. And so what they did, they put them on virtual, but they took and they made cardboard cutouts of these people and they were life-size and they were extremely loud and they put them in the seats. So what I was looking at, I thought I was looking at a live group of people all. 

John It was probably it was two rows of these people that were dead center. And I’m like, all right, that’s really funny. That’s clever. It’s hilarious. Yeah. And I had no look like cardboard cutouts, so. 

Jim Oh, my God. Is. I can only imagine. Yeah, that would. Now I’m thinking about that. That would really throw me out. 

John I was so I’ve never seen that done. It was a great idea. It was kind of cool, but I didn’t know. And I’m like, okay, well that. 

Jim Yeah, yeah, no, I love it. You know, one other thing I do, too. This is a totally subjective thing. But if I’m speaking and, you know, and I sense maybe even just in a room generally, like I’m going on to like, you know, like, as I got to, you know, kind of switch topics. I’ll just kind of get into it. I’ll take the microphone down and we’ll shout the next thing I want to say, and that that brings people right back. Like if you’re getting shouted at, and especially when it’s something important, like, I know and I have specific things, I do it on you. But if I generally. And since like just, you know, maybe this topic is not totally fine. I’ll throw it down and I’ll shout and I really get into it and then people get re-engaged and it’s been it’s something that I’ve done. Like I used to do a lapel mic, you know, that was right here. And because I hold like no cards when I’m speaking, it’s just the way I’ve always done it. And so the lapel mike I can’t do that with. And now I’ve learned that I have to have a handheld because that’s actually an advantage that I have, is I could pull it down and shout and really get people back into it and pick and choose the moments I do that. So that’s been like a huge tool for me to really get into it. And I know, you know, I mean, it doesn’t always work when there are too many people, but I can shop pretty loud so I can get it and you know, and sometimes even put the microphone on, can you guys hear me? And if they can, I’m like, I might just do this whole talk shop because I prefer that. And then it’s more of like a like you and I are in this room together and I’m speaking right at you. 

John I like that. And there’s a good lesson in that, too. It’s like, you know, you’ve got to engage people and figure out how to do it and make people feel. I think the best speakers are even the ones, not even a speaker, but somebody who, you know, people that just have this certain presence, an aura that makes you pay attention to them. I get asked that question a lot. I’m like, how do you develop an aura and a presence that’s kind of a leadership presence and, you know, hard to describe, but everybody knows what you’re talking about? And a lot of it has to do with that. I mean, I see the leaders, the people that do when they walk into a room and they do kind of command that presence. There are people that are engaging there tend to make even if there’s a room of 50 people, you feel like they’re looking or talking to you. You feel like you’re one of the most important people in the room. And I think that’s such a great quality of a leader, is their ability to do that, to connect with people. Even though there might be a group, they have this incredible ability to connect with people on an individual level and speak to them. Even though they’re speaking to a large group, they feel like they’re just tapping right into that person. And I’m interested in your thoughts of number one on that and also other things. You know, you’ve worked and seen. I’ve worked with and seen tons of examples of leadership. I’m interested in some of the people that inspire you and why. 

Jim Totally. I love that. And I think when when when leaders, whether it’s a speaker or just a leader in general, leading with like passion, enthusiasm makes that happen when you walk in and people know you care, they know you want to succeed and we’re all in this together. Like then you feel like it’s a wee thing versus a very thing, you know? And they come in ready to rock. And I and I’ve experienced that speaking, you know, I’ve heard feedback before of like, I felt like he was talking, right? You know, I like to make eye contact and make it really relatable and what we’re all here like for the present in this moment and let’s take advantage of it. And that’s something that’s been really big to me and I’ve known leaders that that do that and. Mm. That won’t do that. And there is a significant difference in terms of just motivation, and my engagement with them. And so I always try to make that as relatable as possible when I’m out and you know, and then and then speak to people after like I stick around and I want, I want to talk to them. I didn’t get into this to just like, speak it and leave, you know? And I, I actually think when I have to do that, if I go somewhere and I had to leave right away, it’s like I like I want to I want to hear from them. 

Jim So when I’m able to stick around and actually speak to people, I know that I’m also a normal guy to, you know, I’m not like some, you know, wildly famous, no time for any. Like, I’m just a guy who’s got a message and that’s really what it comes down to, and someone that can see that. And I have a passion for what I do. It always helps. Right. And that’s been a big thing for me in your question of folks who have seen you, that the gentleman who actually mentored me to be a speaker about seven or eight years ago, his name is Eric Jackson, and he’s a he’s an international speaker and someone who I who has become a dear friend now, but who I still look up to and inspires me. And Eric has this ability when he comes in, you know, he turns out, right, he puts all his energy to it. And I modeled my speaking life after him. That’s really when I saw him speak for the first time. I was 16, so 16 years ago. And I immediately wanted to do what he was doing. And I remember that moment of I could tell how passionate he was. He was showing his voice. He was being himself unapologetically. And that was what he spoke about and also what he was doing. 

Jim And that was the important part for me. I always, you know, when I speak about authentic leadership, that’s kind of my big message is I’m not only one to talk about what being authentic means and why it’s important but do it as well. Like, be authentic, transparent, be vulnerable. And those moments are really what people attach themselves to. So I’m not perfect. Never will claim to be. And I tell them that and I encourage them all to be authentic and I’m showing them how to do it. And so it’s kind of like this double impact and because it’s always the way I’ve lived my life and I just I finally figured out how to speak it. So our mentoring that with me and showing me what it means to actually motivate and to be authentic and to do you unapologetically, as she says and now it’s become a mantra of mine was really critical. And I see the way that he interacts with people when he’s done. He really wants to be there and cares about them. And I’ve seen speakers that don’t do that. Like when I was in high school, I actually had a speaker come to my high school as someone who I knew from just the speaker bureau or whatever it was. And he. Came in and was kind of a jerk when he started. 

Jim Like I talked to him individually and I was just like so excited because I’d seen him speak a few times and you know, you really ready? Someone that you’ve known for a while. And he walked in and just like made like two bizarre, fairly degrading comments about people. He’s like, like, this guy is kind of a jerk. Like, it really threw me off because his message was so anti his comments before he got there. And that made me be like, I don’t know if I want to do that. You know, it really made me question what being a speaker is about. Then I realized, like, I don’t need to be like that. I can be myself and also still be the speaker. And I was really like, that was what not to do, right? And it taught me a lot. It taught me that my persona on stage, while it is sort of this show if you will, it is me. And that’s who I am. And I’m on fire for leadership. And I always will be. And I believe in it. Positive energy, gratitude, all that kind of stuff. And so are showing me that. And this gentleman, I’m not going to say his name, but he showed me really how not to do it. I don’t know if he’s speaking anymore honestly, but that was a very specific moment for me and seeing how they both sort of operating in their craft in him. And it’s not hypocritical to me almost in a way of like how can you possibly act like that to people and then try and pretend you’re this great speaker with a great message? So those are both heavily influential in both ways. That really crafted my ability to be a speaker and to speak to motivate versus just to talk. Yeah, it was really important about that. 

John And that brings up a great point because I think I talked to a lot of new leaders or leaders that get promoted or even leaders that might have gotten promoted and are leading people that they were not leading before, that were colleagues and peers of theirs and friends of theirs. So you’ve got some challenges there. And a question that I get or a problem that people tend to face is they don’t know how or they don’t feel that being themselves is going to lead to people following them, that they feel like I need to be something, I need to turn on a part of my personality that might not be as strong or I need to act a little different when I’m in front of the group or in a work setting. You know, when I’m in person, I could just be myself, but I got to be this type of person. What do you say to that? What do you say to that new leader? That’s a kind of a struggle.

Jim It’s a really good question and it’s a totally valid struggle. The first thing I would say is they’re in that position because of who they are. And that’s the thing that really grasped on to people don’t get promoted or put in leadership positions randomly. You know, it’s well thought out. It’s the interview process, whatever it might be. So they’ve done something or have been a part of something and part of their personality is the reason why they are where they are. So putting all that self-doubt to rest is really important to really start off. But I would say like there will be things that you won’t be comfortable with, you know, like you being a director, maybe that’s not your thing, you know, if you’re depending on your leadership style. But at the end of the day, the leaders that lead with empathy, love and transparency, those three things are going to be successful and people do follow that. 

Jim So when I’m you know, when when I have a professional life, when when I’m when I’m with my team, like I do a soul check, you know, I will do like a one on one. And I’ll be like, Hey, first, 10 minutes. How are you? Like, tell me, tell me how your life is going. Tell me, you know, because I want to get down to knowing, knowing them, knowing what’s going on in their lives and then talking about what you’re doing for work, all this kind of stuff. But to really guide them, to know that they’re cared about and I have energy and passion for what they’re doing and that their work is important. And I think anybody, anybody who feels appreciated and feels heard is going to follow your leads. It will happen like that if you make them feel like they’re important and they’re a valuable asset to what you’re doing and they really impact the work that’s going on in your organization. Yeah, people are going to lead. And then there’s obviously there’s a part to come with, you know, with budgeting and talking about, you know, what, how they can grow and constructive criticism, all that kind of stuff. 

Jim But those soft skills of that empathy, that transparency, and that love and love is a strong words when it comes to leading a team. But it’s important. Like if people really know that you appreciate them and you care about them, they’re going to show up and they’re going to do the work and they’re going to work extra hard for you and people. People leave leaders, something that’s not too often are people leading, you know, their position necessarily. But it’s a lot of times the leadership isn’t working for them. And if you could be that leader, that makes it impossible for someone to leave, like if they’re going to leave, they’re going to find something that just has to be this perfect set with the best leader possible. Because the way that you’re doing it and leading with with with that empathy and knowing that you care about them, you know, and then that makes the more honest conversations a lot easier because it’s coming from a place of you want them to grow and succeed, and it’s always the next step. So a lot of times I tell my team, like, if I’m, you know, if you have a career goal or if you have something you want to do, and in two years, you know, you’re still on my team and still talking about it. 

Jim Like that’s a problem. Like, I want to get you to the point where you’re hitting that next step and continuing to grow and succeed, and then they’re going to feel that they work harder and that all leads to success. So yeah, it’s putting this self-doubt to rest and then taking that step and being the leader that you know you are. I think people have that self-doubt and taking it to the next level and leading with that sense of honesty and showing respect and dignity and that that that says a lot. You know, people it’s hard to not respect a leader like that and want to follow in there. And seeing how energetic they are or their work is really important. 

John Well, I think that’s so profound and it’s so true. And bottom line is, that people see through they see the inconsistencies, just like you saw that speaker. You know, they’ll see the cracks in the armor when there’s not truly authenticity and there’s some kind of, you know, false something in there. They’re going to pick up on it eventually. It’s like you see some of these Facebook posts and you get to know them and they’re like, wait a sec. 

John That doesn’t really even accurately paint a picture of what’s going on. And you see that so much. And then you start to scratch your head and wonder, okay, well, what’s. So I think you’ve got to realize as a leader, eventually, you can’t be somebody, you can’t be somebody that you’re not for an extended period of time. 

Jim Totally, totally. You know, and the best leaders I’ve ever met in my life and this is 100% of the time, are the ones who are the most confident and love who they are. Those two things are always a thing because if you’re not if you don’t love who you are in love with, you become you’re not confident. You’re not going to spread that to anyone like the leaders that can radiate that confidence and that energy and everyone that they encounter. And it’s contagious. People catch that. And that’s when you get that charismatic person coming in who’s just comfortable with who they are, comfortable in their own skin, and then are able to take the team from where they are to where they should be. And it’s but it starts there as it starts internally. And if you can have that ability and I will say that’s something that’s a decision you can make. That’s not something that has to come with, you know, any sort of like training or a seminar or something. 

Jim That’s something you could decide in your seats today to make it your decision to go and to be confident in who you are and love what you’ve become. And that love word, not only is it my last name, but it’s something I feel very deeply about. If you love that part of yourself and you have confidence in your ability, you’re going to pass it on to everyone. And that that radiates so deep and it becomes something that can be really part of who you are. And as the fiber of your being and can be spread to everyone that’s on your team or people you encountered or a waitress at a restaurant, whoever it might be, people that you can inspire in daily life. And it’s really important. And it’s something that that can be that can be done today. It’s I believe in that very, very strongly. 

John I love it. Great, great words of wisdom. If people Jim, I know we’re out of time, but if people want to learn more about you or authentically you speaking or get plugged into your podcast, where should they go? How did they find that? 

Jim Totally. So I have a website for myself is goauthenticyou.com Where you can find my sneaking and you know to email me etc. all my impose on there and then my podcast hustling sideways so you can find us on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. We have a Gmail account for us and sideways at gmail.com and yeah, you can please connect with me and I’ve just, I love being on podcasts, love talking about leadership and, and finding ways to continue to grow and to help motivate people to be the best leader they possibly can become. So I would love that. To bring them on. 

John I love it. Well, the podcast is great. I think I gave you the feedback. You guys kind of have that vibe of Shameless, the podcast that Jason Bateman does with his buddies and it’s so great. And so your band through the beginning, this kind of reminded me of that. I thought it was really cool, but that’s great. We’ll have all that in the show notes for everybody listening. You can go and see that and click on and take you to everywhere that Jim just mentioned there. So, Jim, this has been a blast, man. I love having you on the show. Love talking with you about life and leadership and congrats on what you’re doing. I know you’re making a huge impact out there and you’re enjoying it, you’re loving it, you’re passionate. I can see that and tell that. And I just give you all the credit in the world. And I appreciate everything you’re doing. 

Jim Thank you, John. And it’s a pleasure to chat with you. I know you and I have connected a bunch over the last few months and really appreciate it and looking forward to it even more. And my respect for you is off the charts and I just appreciate being a part of this and I’m looking forward to it.

John Looking forward to more. Awesome. Well, thanks, my friend, and thanks all for joining today as always. Like share, subscribe, and go down below. Give a five-star review. That’s important for sure, and I always appreciate your ideas for future guests and content. Like I said, we’ll have all the references that you mentioned in the show notes, the links to his website as well as to his podcast. Check it out for sure. Great, great stuff. And we’ll look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks, everybody. 

Jim Take care. Thank you. 

John Thanks, Jim. Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on! 

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