308 - Servant Leadership with Manny Amezcua - John Laurito
Episode 308 Servant Leadership with Manny Amezcua Tomorrows Leader Podcast with John Laurito

308 – Servant Leadership with Manny Amezcua

Today host John Laurito is joined by the CEO of MassMutual Great Lakes, the Founder and Managing Partner at The Podium Group, and the Podcast Host of At The Podium with Manuel Amezcua himself, Manny Amezcua. They talk about Manny’s journey in leadership and how he developed his confidence over time. They also talk about the concept of servant leadership and why it’s important to continue serving the people to become the best leader you can be.

Manuel Amezcua is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and executive in the wealth management and insurance industry. He currently serves as CEO for MassMutual Great Lakes, one of the leading brands in creating financial security, stability, and success on behalf of those it serves in the United States. Manuel is also the founder of Podium Risk Management, which focuses on serving professional athletes, business owners, and CEOs. Within Manuel’s four-year span leading MassMutual Great Lakes, the firm has sponsored and supported over 60 nonprofit organizations and been recognized on Metro Detroit’s Best & Brightest Companies to Work For list annually since 2018, as well as Crain’s Detroit Business ‘Cool Places to Work in Michigan’ list in 2019 and 2021.
Manuel has been recognized each year since 2019 as one of Detroit’s 500 ‘Most Powerful Business Leaders in Metro Detroit’ by DBusiness Magazine, received the 2019 Huebner Service Award from the Society of Financial Services Professionals Detroit Chapter, and MassMutual’s national Community Service Award in 2015 and 2019. During his professional career, he has spoken at more than 50 conferences and companies across the country. His conversations focus on developing a clear brand and value proposition, working intentionally from a written plan, and having relentless hustle. He believes some of the greatest professional skill sets are the ones we learned as children: be polite, remember and use a person’s name, ask for permission, and give compliments because being kind is cool.

Connect with Manny:

[0:00] Intro

[2:48] How did Manny start in leadership?

[7:56] How drew Manny to Joe?

[12:27] How does someone develop confidence?

[15:08] On auditing your circle

[19:21] What is servant leadership?

[25:25] What are Manny’s Aha moments through the years?

[32:38] How can someone become the best leader they can be?

[37:21] Learn more about Manny

[39:46] 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 All right. Tomorrow’s leaders. I got a great guest today, a guy who I’ve been spending three years trying to track down and get on this show. Persistence pays off. This is Manny America. He’s a very talented leader in financial services. He is CEO of MassMutual, Great Lakes. He is also the founder of Podium Risk Management. They provide services to professional athletes, business owners, CEOs. He’s a very giving guy, a philanthropist. He’s an influencer. He’s a podcaster. He’s a speaker, who speaks all across the country. And I think you’ll see why you’re going to listen to this. You’re going to get a lot from it. I really enjoyed the conversation I had with him. So here is Manny. 

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. And John Laurito, your host, again, back with you with a phenomenal guest, somebody who I’ve been wanting to get on this show for a long, long time. I think we go back three years when we first connected. I’ve got Manny Amezcua who’s a very well-known, very successful leader in financial services. He is a speaker nationally and also around the globe. He’s a trainer, a developer of people. He’s a podcaster all around. Great guy. Manny, welcome to the show. 

Manny Thanks so much, John. Appreciate it. 

John Yeah, me as well. And again, you know, you and I have connected for a while.

Manny I know I was and I was blown away at like how granularly you recalled the US weaving in and out of brief conversations over the last 3 to 4 years. So it looks like the greatest lesson in how you reconnected the dots. For me, the nominator matters. And so when you reminded me that Joey Davenport is who put us together almost half a decade ago, I was like, You’re right. And I didn’t remember that. But because of the strength of the nominator, the power of the nominator, and how important Joey is in my life and influential Joey has been in my life, it obviously already put me, you know, I thought I was in a great mood coming into the conversation, but I’m already an A-plus 10% on that. 

John I love it. Well, that’s Joey’s effect. You know, he’s that type of guy. And he does the same thing for me, too, and has been a huge advocate and a great connector of people. And that’s actually I think that’s a great place to start, Manny because I know your journey and leadership, which I want to talk about, and I’m always fascinated by that, you know, what was it that when when you’re talking to a successful leader, where did it start? What got them into it? Why don’t we start with that? Like, how did you get this leadership desire, this bug, this whatever you want to call it? Where how did the journey start for you? 

Manny Yeah, I think I think there are a couple of things, you know when you. One is like when? When can I vividly recall it began? And then two is why? Why did I become so obsessed with that? If you’re okay with that, yeah. One, you know, I was brought into the business by the perfect mentor to me, not just a mentor, but also an advocate. And we can maybe unpack that later. But when Joe brought me into the business, I was just blown away by his larger-than-life-like personality and two other things. How much I could tell people wanted to be in his presence, and then how consistently I observed him elevate people mentally and emotionally to have more confidence in themselves. He was the guy who would walk in the room and then when he left the room, people were bummed out. I mean, people were like, Oh, Joe left because Joe was never frugal with a quick compliment or a quick observation or recalling your parent’s names or your spouse or your children’s names. 

Manny He was never short on creating a minute to make you for a moment feel really important and to feel like you were someone he cared about and someone he wanted to understand better. And so that watching him do that consistently in my first two years in the industry in 2003 and 2004 taught me that, boy, I really I want to be more like that. I want to be more like that. You know, the fountain versus the drain. Yeah, that’s what I recall. Not only is the experience of beginning to work and learn from him and be mentored by him. But then what I consistently saw him do, which is be someone that really, just as generically as I could put it, is he just added value in every room. He walked in somehow. And I’ve just always been blown away by people who can do that. And it’s not just people who can do it kind of in the biggest room with the most important person, but who can do that in every room they walk into consistently? And I think, Joe, Joe, you know, they talk about having, you know, living a life of significance. You know, Joe Jordan, another man I’ve learned tremendously from in my life. But you know, Joe gurgles that. 

John Yeah, I love it. 

Manny It is that plus 10%. 

John I love that and that to me you know, I’ve always been drawn to attracted to, enamored by people who leave others better than they found them. And that’s what it sounds like, Joe and both Joe’s. But Joe did you know, I mean, it sounds like and that’s interesting because I think people sometimes lose sight of the fact that it’s all about how you leave people and how you impact and influence people. And it sounds like at a relatively early point, a very new point in your career, this was something that you took note of. And despite the fact, you know, you may have had many, many, many people that he was interacting with an influence. And whether he still made you feel it sounds like or made to put words in your mouth, but you feel important. Is that right? 

Manny 100%, yeah. And I think in general life, we make life out to be so busy. And complicated to navigate that we underestimate the power of one minute. One. Intentional, focused. No phone. Eyeball to eyeball almost like a blinking contest moment with another human. To convey to them like hey, for this one minute or 5 minutes or 15 minutes, like I am only here and I’m here with you because I choose to be here with you. And so I think, you know, in the space of servant leadership, Simon Sinek, I mean, one of the greatest humans that, you know, is alive today in that space. You know, it’s like that. That’s one of the thousands of spokes in the hub of a servant leader wheel. It’s it’s being that powerful in brief moments in time with people. And I’m living an imperfect journey on that. I mean, that’s like, you know, we do make sure you put that as a disclaimer down at the bottom of the video, like furthest from perfect guy intending to become better at being obsessively focused in moments of time with people he cares about. 

John Yeah, well, that. 

Manny Is a disclaimer. 

John And that’s all about self-awareness, which I want to get to in a minute. I want to go back to one of the things you had said about Joe in that he elevated people. What does that actually mean and how how does that look or what is it? Is it that interaction that you have with somebody and you’re making them feel better? What are some of the other things that you had that drew you to Joe that you saw him do? 

Manny Well, I think I think the most consistent war we all lose in life every day we wake up is the war in our mind. Like me versus me. And to me, that comes down to just self-awareness and self-confidence. And I just I’ve not met in, you know, the small podcast that I’ve had for a very relatively short period of time. I’m only visiting with the highest performers in their vertical, whether it’s sports, business, or life in general. And they all reflect back on the fact that they have self-confidence issues like they need advocates, they need people pouring into them, telling them, no man, like literally you can go three for four tomorrow against the Detroit Tigers or know like, look, Benny Fowler, you will catch Peyton Manning’s last touchdown pass. And that that that moment alone to be executed, to be able to execute in that Super Bowl is going to be one of the greatest moments of your entire professional career and one of Payton’s who I still think is the greatest quarterback of all time, but is self-confident, ready and pouring into someone’s self-confidence and elevating their self-confidence will get people to do more. 

John Yeah. 

Manny Yeah, you know. 

John Yeah. And that’s interesting that you say that’s such a great point. Like, I think people assume, you know, they interact and see somebody like yourself. They see somebody like Joe or somebody who’s successful, who’s a leader and assume they’ve just they’ve got 100% confidence or they see a professional athlete. And it’s amazing to me that as I talk to very, very successful leaders that have accomplished and accomplished a lot and influence a lot of people, there’s still times where there’s self-doubt, there’s still issues of confidence, there’s still nobody has it figured out 100%. I think that’s comforting for a lot of people that might be listening, that are up and coming. Leaders are feeling like, you know, I need more confidence. It’s a journey like you said. Right. It’s not it’s you’re not never at the point of a rival. It’s always this constant journey with that. 

Manny Yeah. I mean, I think, I think one of the other things that I’ve gleaned from people like Joe and others in my life who’ve had a significant amount of professional influence is that I’ve also observed that most people who continue to ascend in in roles of greater responsibility, which is really the way I look at leadership and servant leadership, it’s like the magnitude and significance of the responsibility simply grown and. I’ve learned that they’re always seeking improvement. They’re like on this obsessive, continuous path of self-improvement. And so, you know, I work to be intentional about pouring 4 to 5 hours per week into learning from the best in an area that I’m obsessed about at that moment. And so a week and a half ago, I watched the Mental Toughness Forum put on by my buddy. He a good, career-long, lifelong friend, basically. Now, Ben Newman was one of the top advisors in our industry in the first five years of his career when we were in our twenties. You know, I’m fumbling around trying to figure out he was one of the top advisors in the country at the same age. 

Manny Well, now he’s gotten into just a complete high-performance world of just the greatest performers in any vertical in life. He puts on this mental toughness forum. It was a week-long program, with seven of the top speakers in the world every day for five days. And one of the most common themes was self-confidence. Just like, Hey, you want to be mentally tough, you got to believe in yourself. Mm-hmm. Yeah. You know, and so here you hear Coach Tucker and at my lot and Tom Izzo and Ben Newman and. And all these great people. And they’re all talking about, you know, generically speaking, confidence, having confidence. That’s how you’ll go do more, you know, at my let’s do one more, you know, meet exceed expectations plus one more. Right. So anyways, it takes confidence to do that. 

John And so what are so because that is the question everybody’s asking. Okay, how do I build confidence? How do I really impact that? What’s your answer to that? I mean, how does somebody develop more confidence? 

Manny Well, I think, you know, we touched on it kind of briefly, you know, the war being one in the mind, like garbage in, garbage out. So if I’m just consistently bingeing on Netflix and watching things that have no purpose or intentional sort of fountain-like effect on the things I want to be great at in my life. No one’s judging it. First of all, no one in the planet should ever judge another human on the planet. It’s not it’s that’s not our responsibility. It’s someone else’s. And we’re doing it in a faith conversation. But it’s someone else’s responsibility, not ours. So no, no judgment on binge-watching Netflix. But if you’re not taking the little bit of time or a significant amount of time to pour into your body, in your mind, the things that will make you more confident about yourself, about attacking sort of your purpose, your calling, your passion, your profession, then you might struggle in comparison to somebody who’s putting 5 to 10 hours a week into that and developing that confidence. 

Manny So I think, one, let’s be very mindful about what we’re pouring into the minds that we believe could help us improve. But number two, audit your circles often. Often. We can’t. We cannot fly and soar like eagles if we’re hanging out on a lily pad with a bunch of frogs. And I like frogs. Mm-hmm. So I’m not disliking products. I’m just saying, if my desire or my aspiration, the vision for my life is to sort of like an eagle someday. Mm-hmm. I better start hanging out with some eagles. And so I think it’s not just what we put into our mind, but it’s the associations that we create that we prioritize in our life. And how hard am I working to ensure that the people around me in my life that pour into my mindset on a consistent basis are pouring in belief, and confidence? Like I’m with you on this journey. You know, I mean, just people pouring into us like a fountain. 

John Well, it’s interesting. You know, I think there’s a lot of people out there that have that recognition. Yes. I know my circle of people around me is really critical. But there are so few people that are really willing to do something about it. And they may be very aware that, hey, I got people in my circle that are frogs, that aren’t eagles, and they’re dragging me down or influencing me in a negative way. But they really have a difficult time changing that, whether it’s adding really positive people into their circle or removing the wrong people. It’s tough for some people. I don’t know what your perspective is. If it’s easier to start by reaching out to the people that you want to pull in, or you start by removing some of the weeds out of your garden of life. What’s your perspective on that and what advice would you give to somebody who is like, You know what, I get it, I understand it, I just don’t know how to do it? 

Manny I mean, that’s a great question. Like, where do you start on that? Right. You know, ten years into being more intentional and really thinking about this. Auditing your circle. Auditing your circle. Right. What does that actually mean and look like on a basic tactical basis? Even ten years later, I’m still struggling with it myself. Wildly imperfect in this space. But I would suggest to someone who’s new to this concept of being more intentional about who I’m choosing to create time for in my life. I would suggest if you know someone is not making you better and helping you move down. Move the ball down the field closer to scoring. Whatever it is that you consider a touchdown in your life, then I would choose a long time. Over time invested with that person. Hmm. I love football analogies. If you’re fumbling in the snap, if you’re not making a clean handoff to the running back, if you’re throwing a lateral pass for a pick six, if you’re doing any of those things, if someone is doing any of those things with you and no one does anything to you. Right, you just allow it to happen. Right. But if those things are happening consistently in the presence of someone and it’s taking you further and further away from scoring that whatever that touchdown is in your life, I’d suggest that you should consider spending a little bit more time and, you know, on the playbook and like what, getting closer to your life by design looks like and who the people are that can help you execute those plays. 

John Yeah, that’s great. I love that. I love that perspective and that’s a great way to think through it. You know, I used to be one of the things I’d struggle with is I was so fixated on, you know, the five people that are closest to you, you have the most influence, which, you know, no doubt the people that you spend the most time with, they’re typically going to be the ones that have the most influence on you and vice versa. But what I also realized is, you know, there’s no limit to how many people I can pull into my circle like I can. You know, you and I, developing a relationship now means we are in each other’s circle and we may not talk and hang out every single day, but we can influence each other in a positive way and learn from each other. And so I see the people that have progressed so much in life and leadership that are the ones that are really conscious and very intentional and use that word intentional and deliberate about thinking about who can they pull and who can be a really positive influence, who do they want to have a relationship with and taking action on that. And maybe that’s a good way to think about it as I want to grow my positive circle and add more and more goals, not just replace the five that are closest to me or swap them out. That may be a way to think about it too. 

Manny Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that is a great way to think about it. And I think that goes into, you know, a simple belief system that I’ve always had, which is having a mindset of abundance. You know, not everyone in your circle needs to have 5 hours a month from you. Mm-hmm. Some people in your circle like you just suggested, John, I mean, we’re now connected, right? And the fact that we’re connected through the power of a nominator who we both respect, trust and care about, we’re likely going to be intentional about staying in touch now. Mm-hmm. And early on, that might mean, hey, it’s once every 90 days we catch up for 15 minutes, or we see articles, we send them back and forth. We see a podcast. We’re like, Dude, that was awesome. We should both, you know, we can both glean something from this podcast, whatever it is. Yeah, but the bottom line is that with that mindset of abundance and also just kind of embracing that, it doesn’t have to be this perfect recipe. Mm-hmm. Yeah, it could be a one-off handwritten note or text or a quick email. Right. And that that that’s still someone in your circle because you’re intentionally choosing to engage and keep them kind of top of mind. 

John Yeah, I love it. I love it. I want to go back to one of the things you mentioned earlier you talked about servant leadership and that’s it. That’s a phrase that many people have heard. But I think a lot of people either misunderstand it or don’t understand it exactly in terms of what that is and also what it’s not too. So I’d love to get your perspective on, you know, what is it and what is it that you might as a servant leader might be thinking about? Or what kind of questions are you trying to answer when you’re working with people in a servant leader capacity? 

Manny You know, that’s a question. I mean, there could go a number of different directions. I think if I could keep it really simple to what I do professionally, which bleeds over into my personal life, I think very nicely. One. I want people to be happy. But I think we forget because life is so busy and there are so many things that try to remember and be mindful of today. I mean, God forbid, God forbid, we use one word wrong today on social media. Like just, you know, I just God forbid that happen. I mean, you know, everybody wants to point out to you, but so so we’re really surrounded by a lot of disruption, white noise, distractions, etc.. But if we can just remember that, I think one of the things that unites all humans on the planet is that desire to be happy, to find happiness, to find things that enrich their experience on this planet while they’re alive. But to say that that’s my priority means that I’m intentionally creating time on my calendar to better understand what would really bring happiness to that person that I work with every day. Mm-hmm. 

Manny And so I don’t know if I don’t know as a husband that my wife, Samantha, desires to live in the great state of Florida someday. I bet. I bet I’m struggling with delivering on her happiness, which, by the way, we live in Michigan. But thank goodness for Delta Airlines. Right? Right. But, you know, it’s like I need to understand that that’s one of the dreams she has for her life. And so although we can’t live there right now, it doesn’t mean that we can’t create ways and have systems in place at our home with our two beautiful children, Avon Atlas, that allow mom to experience and enjoy Florida. Mm-hmm. On a reasonable basis. Mm-hmm. And I think it’s the same with coworkers, right? Or with people that you serve at work. It’s like whether you’re serving them up or you’re serving them down in the hierarchy. A servant leader is not a title. It’s someone who chooses to say. I will prioritize you your happiness and the vision for your life slightly ahead of. 

Manny Whatever advances my professional career. Mm-hmm. So you got to take time to get to know and understand what drives their happiness. And a lot of times, to me, that’s my having conversations about, like, what’s something that you really want to achieve this coming year in your personal life? What’s something you and your husband dream about? Or you and your children are obsessed that if mommy or Daddy is able to do X, Y, and Z at work, the way we’re going to celebrate that moment of achievement is by doing ABC at home. Now, how are you going to take time to create celebrations of your micro wins in the workplace with your family so that everyone understands why you work so hard and sacrifice? Yeah, having that discussion, having people verbalize that, and then for you to know it, for you to know that one of your executives in the firm dreamt of having the most beautiful backyard firepit patio. And two years later, she did it. That’s a powerful moment with the teammate. 

John Oh, that’s huge, man. I love what you’re saying because I think it’s you know, it’s all about helping people get what they want and what makes them happy. But it’s interesting because to your point, you have to know what people want. You know, I remember a leader with me that really, genuinely took an interest. He asked me, hey, what are you what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? And right away I’m like, well, you know, I went through the business goals and everything I had was super crisp and this is what I want to do. I got them on one page or I carry with me, but he’s like, No, no, no, I get it. I appreciate that. That’s important. Now, what about the personal stuff? What do you want to accomplish personally? What’s important to you? And I’m like, Wow, that’s my first instinct is, well, what was why is that even important to you? I’m grateful that it’s important to you, but it really was a big aha moment for me. And I think there are so many leaders that are probably listening right now that are like, you know what? They’re scratching their head and they’re saying, I don’t know what my people want. I don’t know what the people in my organization want to do or some of my key leaders and you know that great R factor question from Dan Sullivan strategic coach is a great starting point. Hey, we’re sitting here three years from now and you’re ecstatic with what’s happened personally and professionally. Yes, but tell me about it. 

Manny Yeah. Dan Sullivan would have been, like, the most incredible financial advisor of all time. 

John Oh, man. It’d be the most incredible, pretty much anything, you know? 

Manny But, hey, I’ll tell you those what he did, those buffer blocks, though, that he coaches us on. Those are yeah those are I live in my buffer block. It’s compromised. I’m a mess that week. 

John I’ll tell you what, it’s so funny. I just did a keynote a couple of weeks ago and I talked about that topic specifically because so many people go from meeting to meeting to meeting and defining their day as being successful based on how many meetings they have. I’m like, man, you’re missing the point. You got to have that buffer time in there. You know, if nothing else, it sometimes leads you to have the 32nd conversation with somebody that you wouldn’t have had that is game-changing, you know, and you can’t have your whole life be around agenda meetings 100%. Yeah, that’s awesome. So what are any learnings that you’ve had in the last few years? I mean, you know, we’ve been through a whole lot of craziness. Any big ideas or light bulbs for you personally or professionally that might be helpful to share? 

Manny Oh, you know, I’ve really I really struggled a good amount of my life. I think it’s because I tend to be a people pleaser. You know, I’m a mediator. I want everybody to be happy. Like, why can’t we all just get along, you know? And so I, you know, that’s either one of my gifts or flaws, right? And it depends on the moment. But what I would say is in working through that. You know, with the therapist, with the coach, with my wife, Samantha, with my brothers. We lost my father at the beginning of this year. It’s the worst thing I’ve been through in my life. Losing our father. I’ve never had a more painful experience. More painful four months, more painful. Like moments of chaos where I’m just, you know, it just so I really can finally empathize with people who’ve lost family at a young age. But what I realize is in like going through these moments of adversity, you know, they say like, you know, adversity really introduces you to who you are. I want people to be happy so bad that I try to guess. And in that, I’m making a lot of assumptions. What would be helpful? And so it’s almost like I’m creating narratives in my head. Mm-hmm. And so I’d say that, like, one consistent sort of chronic. 

Manny Decisions that I’ve made, I sometimes make it I’m consciously or subconsciously it’s just kind of in my DNA is assuming what somebody wants to feel better to be happier. Mm-hmm. To be, you know, more at peace. And in that, I’m making a lot of inaccurate assumptions and building a lot of inaccurate narratives. And all of that could be solved. If I just could clear my mind, stop on the treadmill, get off and sit down with that person for 5 minutes and ask the questions I mean, to ask. Hmm. Love it. You know, and I’m not. And it’s let me go back to your comment about the meeting. The meeting. The meeting. I’m a John. I’m an absolute idiot. Like, I’m like, well, I had 39 meetings last week. Not a good thing. Yeah, right. There’s no badge of honor in that. Yeah, but you know, my intention is to tell people you matter. And so I create time for everything I humanly can. But then I sacrifice other things, like making a stop because I don’t have time to find out from everybody. I kind of tend to make an assumption. I build a narrative in my mind. I execute on that narrative I built in my head, and then I make way off the bullseye of what my intention was, which was just. Make them happy or feel better about a situation. 

John Well, you know…

Manny I rambled. I’m sorry about that. 

John No, it’s super valuable. So much in there in that answer. You know, and I think there’s a lot of leaders that are they want you know, they’re people pleasers. You know, they want people to feel good and be good because that’s part of great culture and you’ve got a great culture in your organization. And, you know, part of that is you’re very attuned to it and you’re listening or watching for the mon rate, you know, and the Mon index, whatnot, and how happy people are. So I understand that you know, and a big part of this is really understanding, as you said, you know, how how do you understand people? How do you understand getting a really accurate pulse on what’s going on in your organization? And that was a big learning for me, the whole buffer time. And a great book, by the way, that I read not long ago is Essentialism by Greg McKean, a phenomenal book, life-changing book. Just about the whole concept of doing fewer things better and not living that life as I lived in. And you have to where you’re, you’re judging your, your value based on how many meetings you’re doing, but really judging it based on, okay, how much impact that I have and did I impact the right people? You know, if I can have a positive influence on you and you’re somebody that naturally has a lot of influence on many other people, well, then that’s really there’s a great return on that investment of time, right? Versus maybe somebody else who might not have the level of influence you have. So there’s some sense in that to of thinking about who it is that you’re really, you know, making the time for. 

Manny You know, that’s a great way to describe that. And you literally just made me think of like the teaching profession and the coaching profession and why, you know, why have so much gratitude for teachers and coaches that are literally they’re forming and shaping and mentoring and advocating for like the next generation of servant leaders in this great country. Like you’re. You’re willing to visit with on a daily basis, 100 or 300 different students. And share the best you have with them. With the hope and belief that they’re going to go on and kind of multiply that throughout their personal and professional life. Right. And so it’s it that’s servant leadership. And I think people forget that. Right? Like. Every coach and teacher is a servant leader. Mm-hmm. You can. You can I. Look, I can make a list of a hundred other ways you can make the wages that high school teachers and coaches are earning with probably less stress. 

John Yeah. Right. 

Manny But to choose that to be a found in the children’s lives every day versus a drain. Mm-hmm. That’s a really powerful story that I don’t think gets enough mike time in our society. 

John I agree, man. I totally agree. And I think about and I know this is a case for myself and there are so many people out there that can think back to one teacher or one coach that had a lifelong impact on them. And sometimes it’s one comment that they made. And I think we forget sometimes the power of one thing, one conversation that can have a lasting impact on how somebody views himself or what somebody decides to do. And that’s the magic of leadership. I mean, that was the thing that got me totally, almost, not almost but obsessed with learning about it and really getting into it. Because I had those teachers that said certain things that stuck with me. I could still remember. And I’m sure you did, too. So I’m right there with you. I think that’s an incredible value under-underappreciated profession, for sure. 

Manny Yeah. I appreciate you saying that. 

John Yeah, well, I know we’re closing on the end of our time here, and there are so many things I’d love to continue to talk about as I talk with you for hours. What is as you think about like, okay, moving forward, you know, you’ve got a lot of leaders out there that might be at different levels that are thinking about, okay, how do I really become the best leader I can be over the next two, three, four or five years and recognizing how things as you see it might change. What do you what do you say? What are what’s the things that you might put in somebody’s front of mind of, hey, make sure you’re doing this or don’t do this? What advice would you give them? 

Manny Well, that’s a great question for a like for like John Gordon or Ben Newman. Ah, you know, I mean, there’s just so much, right? I always use the analogy of the spokes, the number of spokes in your wheel. And I, you know, people are like, hey, how’d you do that? I’m like, I don’t even know. There are like a thousand spokes in the bicycle wheel I’m living on. You know, there’s like so many things that I think contribute to a moment or to micro in. I think we, I think having like, things clearer in our mind about who we are and who we aren’t is really helpful. You know, you’ve made a couple of comments that have made me think, especially the reference to essentialism. It’s like doing fewer things better. Like when I pour into somebody, am I really pouring into the right person? That can then be kind of like a rising tide of sorts. Like the rising tide lifts all boats. Right. Is that person going to go pour it out, and multiply it to others? But I think to be clear on who you are and who you’re not. 

Manny Because while I can desire to want people to be happy, I really can’t create happiness for people. I really can’t create that for people. It’s if I do, it’s a temporary something, right? A gift, a surprise, an experience, a compliment. But we can’t create long-term, sustainable happiness for people. They have to create it for themselves. So I think is great with our time. Being great with the people that we give our time to because it’s the greatest finite resource we have available to us, but also the greatest multiplier of anything that we feel passionate about and believe in is giving that time to someone deserving. But I also think just having clarity on all the things that you won’t be about, like, Hey, I am never going to be about anyone who’s a jerk and consistently ruder people. Never going to be about that. Ever going to be about that? Mm-hmm. Not clients, not coworkers, not someone that I break bread with. No, thank you. Mm-hmm. No, thank you. And that includes people who walk around the planet imposing judgment on others or storytelling. Mm-hmm. 

Manny Number two, I’m never going to walk around and tell someone else the story for them. I’ve got enough problems of my own. Yeah, right, right. It’s not you. You’re not. You’re not going to hear from me that someone’s going through a tough time unless you’re that person’s parent or therapist. Yeah. Yeah. You know, just. I don’t. I don’t know what good comes in that, like, nonsense watercooler talk and. And spreading of insignificant moments, decisions, or comments. Yeah. I just have always been lost in that. Which is why I don’t do lunch with a lot of people. It’s a business meeting because I just don’t I don’t want to find myself in those discussions. If someone wants to tell me about what’s going on at home, I’ll find that out in the one-on-one when I’m with them. Yeah. Another thing I’m not about is I’m not about anybody who takes away from treating all children. Like they deserve to attack like an obsessed assassin. Their wildest dreams. Like it’s bad enough that our society’s dream crushes each other once we’re all adults. But don’t ever do that to a child. No child chose what they were born into. Let’s never forget that. So I will never be about anybody who I observe discourage a child, whether it’s theirs or someone else’s. So I do find myself at odds with many teachers and coaches these days of my life. I will tell you that I do so. 

John Well, I so much here. And I respect you. I admire you. What I take from that is, you know, it’s as important in terms of parting comments here, as important to know who you want to be and who you are, but also be deliberate about who you’re not going to be and who you’re not and who you’re not going to be associated with. And and and just so much there. But this has been fantastic of people, and I know they will want to learn more about you, and connect with you, whatever the case may be. How do they do it? I know you’ve got a podcast. I’d love to have you share that, but what other ways can they plug in as well as that? 

Manny Yeah. I mean, I think the two simplest ways are, you know, one my LinkedIn profile it’s meanwhile a mess squad is easy to secure. And then the second is the Instagram handle for the podcast, which is at the podium podcast. And, and look at that. That’s become like a new, you know, strong interest in my life. I’m getting the privilege and the blessing to interview and learn from some of the top performers, mostly in professional sports. But, you know, that’s another dream, dream, you know, kind of moment. You know, you’ve got these guys who are now 30 years old playing their eighth season in the NFL and they’re like, Yeah, since I was four, I was telling everybody on the block I was going to play in the NFL. And it’s like just one simple story, though. It’s the ones who said they were going to play in the NFL and the parents kept telling them, You know what? You probably will, buddy? You probably. Well, what are you doing to get to the NFL? Those actually got to the NFL in comparison to the ones who said they were going to the NFL. And the parents are like, you’re never going to go to the NFL. You need to study and get a degree and bubble, though you never hear that story of someone accidentally getting into the NFL. So it just goes back to the power of being an advocate in people’s lives and encouraging them to dream the wildest dreams in life by design that they aspire for. But yeah, Instagram @thepodiumpodcasts LinkedIn under my full name, and man, it’s been great to finally catch up with your job. 

John It has it absolutely has me and we’ll have all that in the show notes all the links and everything too for people to find you and tune into your podcast. And I’m excited about getting an opportunity to continue this relationship and learn from you and get a chance to, you know, be in each other’s circle. So I appreciate you coming on today. 

Manny The feeling is mutual. I mean, this is you’re great at this. I know. I know you had a few other career obsessions and still do, but this was awesome. I really enjoyed it and wish you nothing but health and happiness, my friend. 

John Awesome. Thank you. And thanks for joining us today on this episode of tomorrow’s leader. As always, like share, subscribe, and go down below. Give a five-star review. We’ve been here with Manny, amazed by all the links that we talked about will be in the show notes. So go check them out. Check out Manny, connect with him and we’ll see you next time. Thanks. 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@johnlauriot.com. Thanks, lead on! 

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