Jason Hunt teaches people how to bring out the very best in others. He is the founder of Eye Squared Leadership and he has had the pleasure of working with companies large and small, including FedEx, The Taylor Corporation, Jack Links, and Pearson.
Jason’s first major leadership responsibility was to run a branch of 100 church members in outer Siberia when he was 19. Since then, he has been in various leadership positions, including principal of a junior high where he turned around the culture of a school in only 2 years.
Jason has a Masters degree in leadership from the University of Minnesota, is certified by the John Maxwell Leadership Institute, and is the author of The Other Side: 5 Rules for Leading with Influence.
In this episode, Jason and Cindra talk about:
- How leaders can gain influence with those they serve
- How to develop caring, connection, courage and collaboration in your leadership
- The CRAP acronym and why it is essential to leadership
- 3 Powerful questions to develop trust
- What it means to be a people-focused leader
[tweet_dis2]“I think leadership is just really simple; It’s influence, nothing more or nothing less.”- @i2eyesquared[/tweet_dis2]
[tweet_dis2]“Leadership takes courage, you gotta be willing to do things a little bit differently.”-@i2eyesquared[/tweet_dis2]
[tweet_dis2]“You have to celebrate, recognize, appreciate and praise.”-@i2eyesquared[/tweet_dis2]
[tweet_dis2]”The best way for people to follow you, is authentic leadership.”-@i2eyesquared[/tweet_dis2]
[tweet_dis2]”You have to connect with them before you can lead them.”-@i2eyesquared[/tweet_dis2]
Cindra: Jason. I’m so excited to have you on the High-Performance mindset podcast today. How are you doing?
Jason: Absolutely fantastic and rolling, just a little bit from Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.
Cindra: I know, me too. I’m like this is the only thing I’m doing today besides putting out my Christmas decorations and I’m really excited about that.
Jason: Yeah, I’m tempted to get a workout in. Just to make up a little bit for yesterday, you know,
Cindra: So true. Well, first of all, thanks so much for joining us. And I thought to get us started, Jason. Why don’t you just describe a little bit about what you’re passionate about and what you’re doing right now?
Jason: Yeah, absolutely. So Cindra. My experience comes from the world of education. I spent 15 years this as a social studies and ESL teacher, I worked as an administrator. And finally, a principle of the junior high here in Owatonna Minnesota and I recognize that after you know in my second year of leading the school. I wasn’t cut out for leadership, like I was failing miserably terribly bad. In fact, so much to the point where It was October during my second year, I found myself hiding in a portable classroom. It wasn’t being used during the school day, I was freaking out. I had no idea what I was doing every single stat and everything. It was just going bad. I mean, the culture was toxic. Everything was terrible, and I really had a struggle, trying to figure out how, how can I specifically lead. What can I do to be able to rally people around you know some of the objectives that district had and I had and I recognize that one of the biggest challenges that I that I have based on my personality style is I’m a task oriented person and I was leading the school like it was a task, you know, here’s, here’s a new flow chart. Here’s a new student handbook. Here’s a new you know all these kinds of things that were more systematic then relational and once I made that recognition thanks to some great mentors like John C Maxwell, um, things just started to turn around a little bit. So I worked there for several more years we turn the school around as a fantastic place I got an opportunity to leave because they’re combining a couple schools and doing some shake up with the school with the district and I got this passion, like, you know, how many other people are out there like me that are just struggling because they’re task oriented and they’re not quite understanding the power of the relational aspect when it comes to leading other individuals. So that’s why I started this company about four years ago, I focus exclusively on people centered leadership and my passion is to help people avoid their portable classroom you know i everybody’s going to go in there a little bit, but let’s hope they don’t go in there very long and maybe I can share with them tools strategies and thoughts and ideas to view to help them make it a little bit easier for themselves.
Cindra: Yeah, and I think about this portable classroom, then it can mean sort of like it’s a metaphor, you know, maybe things that you’re avoiding or places that you go to hide, because you don’t really want to deal with whatever’s going on right now and I’m also, I appreciate your
vulnerability, just from the start, Jason, because I’m thinking there’s a lot of people who are listening who maybe are more task oriented and not necessarily a relationship kind of focused so I appreciate that. So tell us a bit about what you’re doing right now in your company and just give us a little like background of that before we kind of dive into some of the content.
Jason: Thank you so i squared leadership is the name of my company and the it’s literally an eye, with the square symbol which means influencing for impact. You know, I love the idea of influence. I love the idea of impact. I think that’s what leadership is about is impacting other individuals so what I do is, it’s a mixture of speaking and training right now more training the speaking cuz there’s not a whole lot of stages open to to do the coven but I work with a lot of different groups, mostly in greater Minnesota manufacturing tends to be kind of a little niche that I found myself into and I sit down and I I customize training for organizations based upon whatever their needs might be for their leader and my goal, again, is to be able to help create more people centric leadership to strengthen those relationships and bonds and whatever, it would have recognized with most of the organizations that I work with is a lot of people are great technicians that they’re really good at something specific. Maybe they’re working on a press or maybe they happen to be a cabinet maker, whatever. And then they get promoted in your leadership and they don’t have the skills to be able to build the relationships that are necessary to be successful later. So it’s kind of my niche that I get into and we create, you know, numerous trainings over the space of, you know, several weeks and months with organizations to be to help train these leaders and get them the tools and the skills that they need to make sure that not only can they use their technical aspects, but they can be able to get people to come along with them.
Cindra: Life changing. You know, I think you’re not necessarily always taught these leadership skills and sometimes you’re just kind of thrown into it. So to start us off. You mentioned kind of people focus leadership. So Jason, why don’t you define that for us as we kind of dive into some of the more kind of focused on the details of this?
Jason: Yeah, so I think leadership is just really simple its influence. It’s nothing more, nothing less. And I know there’s 100 books written out there. I even wrote a book on leadership. Right. Everybody’s got a book on leadership. You know, so we all divine it in one way or another. But, but when it really comes down to it, it’s can you influence another person to think or act differently. That’s it. Can you can you influence another person to think or act differently. And I recall when I read through some information about leadership and I came to this understanding that leadership is about influence I was leading the junior high, and I had no influence. That was my issue. I had no influence and but there’s a social studies teacher who had no additional responsibility or title beyond just that have a teacher and hit great influence and whatever he said. People did like if there’s a problem. I’ve got the title. I’m getting paid to be the leader.
Jason: But yet, I’m not leading because I don’t have the influence and I observed later on as I went to church. I saw the same thing. There was a leader in our church that was our pastor and good guy. Great guy high respect for the individual love them to death, but not a ton of influence, he just wasn’t really getting the church moving anywhere but then I would go and
see other integration and congressional members and some of them was like, hey, we’re going to do this on this Friday, let’s get together and boom, we had the largest gathering. We had ever in the in the particular church. You know, because this one person that didn’t have any title or position, but had influence was able to make it happen. Yeah, so I just told me, like, okay, wait a minute. If I want to be a leader. If anybody wants to be leader it of course having a title does help. But that’s not the only key. In fact, the real key is making sure that we understand the influence how we can do to gain influence with people and what are the best uses of this influence. Of course, it can be good or bad and in 1938 out of Hitler was named the most influential man by Time Magazine. So, so, of course, once we have that influence. You got to use in positive ways and that’s really what leadership is it’s developing influence and using it to be able to create a positive impact in the lives of other individuals.
Cindra: Some thinking about your experience in that junior high, and I’d love to hear more about like how you were able to turn it around by better understanding leadership and maybe emulating some of these other leaders that you saw that were more sort of like person focused?
Jason: Yeah, I would like to say that it was an easy quick process and I read a book and got better. Yeah, but I’d be lying to
Cindra: Change is never easy
Jason: To tell you, Cindra, It was the hardest probably year and a half. Okay, my entire life. Yeah, there were numerous days where I just didn’t feel like going for there were numerous days where I really, I felt imposter syndrome. Like, why in the world did they choose me to be in this position. I have not cut out for this. I don’t deserve to be here. I’m screwing it up big time. I don’t know what I’m doing. And that was tough. And I’ve got four kids and a wife and she’s a homely, Karen.cAnd I had to provide for him. So I have a lot of stress and worry in the line. I mean, there were a lot of I remember my daughter, my youngest daughter asked her cute blonde hair, blue eyed girl gave me this, this little red sticker with a smiley face on, you know, in talking about or you just get a little smiley face and she gave that to me one day and I put it on the steering wheel of my truck and I found that anytime that I was like, leaving the junior high and going over the district office or just travel you travel as a principal every so often. I mean, I was just nervous. I was just a wreck and I’d read that thing for comfort and I would just I’d rather I mean it was just, I think I have it somewhere here.I mean, it is almost completely white because how anxious, I’d get and just the worry that I would have of trying to do that. Ultimately, I think what I had to do is recognize that leadership really wasn’t about me. I was I was too focused on how people saw me and my performance and once I started to overcome that and start to say, you know what I had to come to grips with. Even if they fire me. Let’s just say they fire me what can I leave saying I’m proud of. And really, what does anybody leave any organization saying they’re proud of. It’s the relationships, the impact you make on people. Absolutely. And so I had this this moment where I said okay i. That’s what I got to focus on
Jason: Like, forget about myself and I just got to start focusing on other people. What do they want, what are their needs? More care about, you know, one of the concerns that they have, have I listened to any and stuff. And I realized I hadn’t um, you know, and so it really came to this place where I had to listen a lot I realized that I couldn’t do it also had to build a team around me and I give them great amounts of authority and permission and I empower them to do certain things, so I can’t say that I turned the junior high around of myself that would be absolutely wrong. It was a team effort. But I think it started with a leader becoming humble. Yeah, moving him my in my case, him or herself out of the way and then focusing on the people that you’re leading and building relationships with them and just empowering them.
Cindra: I heard PJ fleck the football coach at the University of Minnesota speak a month or so ago, I was like the opening keynote of this virtual conference, and he was the closing keynote. It was really awesome and I have to have to look and see what this acronym was, but he was talking about, like, one of their mottos is like forget about me. I love you. You know, so just this idea of like servant leadership and that’s what I heard while you were talking is like, okay, forget about myself be humble and how can I work to build these relationships. So can you kind of describe to us a little bit about, you know, how would you say that leaders can gain influence with those that they serve?
Jason: Yeah. So it’s important for us, obviously, to understand that that leadership is about influence but then they asked the same question. You do I gotta get out of time. Okay, Jason, I get it, I get it, you know, but how do we get influence. I got all have any influence. I only got a little bit of influence. I got great influence over my family, but nobody ever listens to me. You know what, what the heck. How can I put this together and I have spent a great deal of time reflecting both on what I learned through my experience the junior high through a lot of my mentors and I, when I say mentor. I’m talking about people like Ziegler and john Maxwell and Tony Robbins, and those kinds of folks people I’ve probably never met but I’ve read a lot of their stuff right they just have wisdom that they just pour out into books and you can get them for almost free, right. So, so I’ve just really focused on this subject of influence and tried to understand at the very core of it. What’s going on, you know, how can we simplify this for John or Jane that are just entering into a supervisor level of leadership. How, how can I, I make it understandable for them and Cindy, I realized there’s four components into it and I also recognize these four components relate to a body part which is just makes it more visual and easier for us to remember and I kind of captured it all together. And I call it full body leadership so full body leadership is it’s really simple. You’ve got a heart that cares. You have to care about your people. If you don’t care about the people it doesn’t matter, they’ll follow you for a short period of time. Because you are the leader and you have the title, but after that short period of time. They will not follow you. Anymore has to have a heart that cares secondly, we gotta, we gotta have that had the connects you know we often think as leaders, what you know we’re up on the stage and we’re saying this, and getting direction and casting vision encouragement and yes all that’s true, that’s true, but we got to pay attention to the fact we the eyes and ears to
Jason: And listening and watching body language and building a connection by trying to get a good understanding what they care about this powerful so hard. The cares ahead to connect feet that show courage. It isn’t easy to get on a deep level relationship with somebody and ask some of those pertinent questions. You know, I often talk about connecting and I say there’s three levels of connecting. We have the superficial level and if you recognize that the only thing that you talk about with a coworker is the weather and sports, you’re at a superficial level of list and it’s you know, we live in Minnesota. We get about we’re talking about the weather, all the time, but it’s a superficial depth. The second degree of connecting is a business degree. If you go out and grab a drink with the person and the only thing you find yourself talking about is actually work and the people that work or the jobs that work you’ve got a second degree, you know, a second level of connection with the person. Which isn’t bad. It’s a good place to be. But the third is this deep personal relationship where you’re asking questions like, you know, what do you dream about what do you sing about, what do you cry about you capture the, the answer those three questions. It’s incredible. But that’s hard to do. People aren’t real. Can you imagine. And our second conversation. I’ve had to sit down with Sandra and said, what do you, what do you cry about like what keeps you up at night. What, what really bothers
Jason: It’s not easy to ask that, but you have the answers. And suddenly we put a bond. And so that’s the courage aspect leadership takes courage. You’ve got to be willing to do things a little bit differently. Your heart that cares had the connects to show courage and hands it collaborate ultimately, the primary number one job of a leader is to be able to empower other individuals. Harvey Firestone said that the number one job of a leader is to develop other leaders, that’s, that’s what we’re doing. Right. And so we find ourselves in a position where we’re working with other people and now it’s our job and responsibility to help them become better versions of versions of themselves to empower them to give them confidence to delegate to them to give them public feedback that’s good and relevant and honest and open and authentic. So it’s about as simple as that.
Cindra: That’s great, connect courage and collaboration. I love this like full body leadership, right. So I’m thinking the heart is carrying head is connects feed is courage hands are for collaborating. So let’s dive into each of these a little bit more in detail and let’s first talk about caring, Jason. Let’s talk about what does that actually mean how do you show you care, maybe just give us a little more details on that?
Jason: Yeah, it’s hard somewhat to show that you care because I think a lot of people really do care. But they, their employees might not know that they really do care because what we get tied up in the tasks that work. I mean, all of us have to do lists and especially in leadership, you want to focus on your to do list. And if you focus too much on that you even though you might care for your people, they might not see it.
Jason: You might not recognize Cindra: Yeah.
Jason: Now if you don’t care for your people. That’s a big bigger issue. We got to probably have a whole nother podcast on that.Talk about how you actually develop that care. It starts with seeing everybody as a 10 and you’re changing your own frame and mindset about how we how we how we view people butif you do care. Okay, then you’ve got to show it.
Jason: You’ve got to give what I call a crap. You’ve got to give a crap and it’s hard to get a crap. You know if it was easy to give a crap. Everybody who crap but it’s not easy. And so, almost nobody gives a crap and so I encourage my leaders. I said, all right, you gotta give a crap. And they’re like, well, what do you mean by crap. I said, All right, this is this you have to celebrate recognize appreciate and praise see our AP celebrate recognize appreciate and praise You gotta give a crap and so we kind of walk through that and help people understand, Okay, what does it mean to celebrate. What does it mean to praise. What did we do and talk about those things. And then the next question is, well, how do I do it, Jason, like I just don’t have any time to find for fine, fine.Go to the a meeting and I’m not telling them they need, you know, alcoholic help. I’m just saying there’s an appreciation of payment put in your calendar one hour every single week, and do not change that for anything that is your crap time.
Cindra: I love the acronym, it’s sticky. Right. I mean, I really Jason: Oh, you’re taking this to a new level.
Cindra: Or do I just meant like it’s it’s easy for us to remember it right and Jason. One question I had is, you said something about like seeing your employees as a 10 um, tell us what that means.
Jason: Yeah. So we’ve all made judgments about people, it’s, it’s good and it’s bad, you know, back in the day we had to make judgments about saber tooth tigers, to see if they’ll kill us or not. And we had to react to that. Okay, I get it. Yeah, but I recall when I was serving as a junior high principal. You know, I had to hire a lot of new teachers and there’d be a deck of teachers were eating out in the in the lounge for us to bring them in for an interview and I’d literally walk out there and get ready to interview the next one and scan over the next two or three and say, yep, yep. Nope. Nope. And yep, like I’d make those decisions we judge people in seven seconds or less. Sure. And I’m not saying judgment is wrong, but holding on to that judgment. So if you judge a person as a two or three on your team, you know what, you’re probably right. But are they more are they more. Is there something more. You’re not seeing of them. You know, I encourage people to ease up is a phrase that we use ease up on the judgment that you’ve made to the person I recall, I was teaching a group of FedEx over in Michigan and you know some guys that have been in the business for a long, long time. And one of the guys is like
Jason, you don’t get it, you don’t get it. John, my coworker we’ve been working together for 25 years okay he’s a three. He’s always been a three. He’s never going to be anything more than the three. He’s just a three and I turned to him and I said, Okay, I get it. You know, we probably can’t force you to change your mind with it make you think that he’s a 10 but can you ease up you next time you see him. Can you think of him as a four, can you look for things that would prove to you that he might be a foreign yourself 10 and he and a big Regine kind of way. It was like, well, okay, you know, I’ll do that was about a month and a half later, I got an email from them and it’s a Jason, you’ll never believe this. He’s actually a five.
Cindra: Because he was looking for the five?
Jason: Yeah yeah. So seeing everybody’s attend is a goal that we have. We want to be able to get to that place. I understand. I’m a list, it’s difficult for us to see hardware, you know, hard people to get along with or workers that we might not have high degrees of respect for that as a 10 so just ease up you know just choose the next number and look for ways they are the way. And what you’ll recognize as soon you’ll start seeing everybody as a 10 of the potential of what they can because I honestly believe that everybody has unlimited potential. They can all be attend if they’re in the right environment with the right leadership.
Cindra: That’s powerful. Jason and I’m thinking about what I know about judgment of myself. Right. And the more I judge myself, the more I judge others so I’ve been really working on my own self judgment because I know if I’m harder on myself that I’m just harder on everyone else around me, and I like the idea of just like easing up right like it’s hard for you to get to a 10 right now, but I am also thinking about Bernie browns work and, you know, she says, like everyone is doing the best that they possibly can and I i when working on that as well, like just reminding myself you know this person is doing the best that I can. So in your terms ease up on the judgment. Mm hmm. No powerful stuff. And I like how you related to yourself, the very best leaders are great self-leaders, but the most difficult people to lead is ourselves. So we do have to have that thought control and I love you know I’ve read through your book, a couple of times now, and I love a lot of thoughts that you put in there about controlling our thinking our own personal thought process. And if we can master that or at least become better at. Gosh, you know, we can really help out a lot of people because we get ourselves out of the way.
Cindra: Absolutely. And there’s so many automatic negative thoughts that can appear before we kind of go into the second see connect. I want to ask you, Jason. I always ask everybody on the podcast like to tell us about a time they failed and what failure is to you and I was thinking a lot about what you just said about you know and how it connects with failing and leadership. So what do you think failure means in terms of leading?
Jason: So I think that leadership has gone through a few different stages. Over the last three or four decades. If we go back to the 90s, or so leadership was almost exclusively focused on process, lean manufacturing Zig Ziglar, you know, those kinds of things. Great strategies wonderful stuff that I think we probably could still use in a lot of environments today, but that’s not leadership that’s management. All right. Then we move into the early 2000s, maybe the
first decade, decade and a half or so and leadership tend to be this list of critical skill sets these characteristics that you must have John Maxwell and is 21 irrefutable laws of leadership that’s all about characteristics. I’m not saying we don’t need to focus on that. But who in their right mind actually can capture those 21 you know characteristics. You can’t write an HR directors created these entire you know huge systems of evaluating the UN and these are these 17 criteria we need know you know it’s not going to work because we can’t, we can’t be that person. Nobody exists that can really fill all that out. You think about Richard Branson and how he leads and you compare that to somebody like Elon Musk and how he leads.
Cindra: Or you compare that to you know any of the big leaders that?
Jason: Bill Gates. Bill Gates and Richard Branson together. Okay. Very different people very different leadership styles, but both very, very effective.
Cindra: All right.
Jason: And so what am I saying the most important style of leadership, the latest trend in leadership. Right now, the best way for people to follow you is authentic leadership just being real to who you are grabbing onto your strengths and admitting your weaknesses. That’s where the failure piece comes into, I think it’s critical, for leaders to be open and honest about their failures. Why, because then we relate to them. If we just imagine the leader never felt like everything they touch turns to gold. I can’t relate to that because I fell every day. So they’re here. I’m here and there’s, there’s no way we can, can I can’t connect with them. In fact we’re leading into connecting right now.
Cindra: Yeah I know exactly.
Jason: We can’t connect with them because we feel like they’re unreachable. Cindra: Yeah.
Jason: And when a leader has the courage right when we’re willing to be like burn a brown talks about and just be vulnerable and say, Hey, guys. completely screwed up. Here’s what I was planning on doing this is where my intent was at but it did not work, and ABC happened. I’m sorry we messed it up. I messed it up. What can we do to start working through this. I think people grab on to that. I think they see that okay, this person is real. Like, like I can follow that person, this person. I’m not too sure if they’re real and honestly when we don’t have to make our mistakes. Everybody else knows it, but us. Okay.
Cindra: Well, and even if you think about how you started the interview today, Jason, you’re telling us about a time that you struggled with your leadership and I agree that this vulnerability piece actually connects with the caring, which we are just talking about like the more I’m vulnerable with others. And the more I let them in. Maybe they’re going to see that I care. And it also connects with the second see of connection right is like, that’s how you connect with
others when I hear more about the ways that you struggled. I feel connected to you immediately right because I then I can relate to you. So tell us about this second area of connection. And what that means to you?
Jason: Sure connecting is probably one of the most powerful pieces of leadership and I think about it this way. If you think you’re leading and nobody’s following you. You’re just taking a walk. You’re not connecting. All right.And this is, this is probably. I mean, I understand that the most important right job number one of a leader is to be to get to that collaboration stage, but as far as importance for my personal level, I put it on connecting that’s I think that’s the most important piece because personally. That’s where I struggled, the most so as I was going through the junior high experience. I recognize that I needed to get feedback. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know how screwing it all up. I needed some information from the people that I was leading again takes courage not easy to do.So I ended up talking to a handful of people that I felt close with and I was comfortable with. But there was one person that I knew I needed to talk to. She was a union president. And again, I’m the administrator. So we already are heads right but she speaks her mind and she had a lot of influence with school. I couldn’t stand her. In fact, I don’t really hate people ever but if ever I can close to hitting somebody. She might have been the one she might have been the one.
Cindra: Okay, he’s not listening.
Jason: Hopefully I think she’s enjoying retired life in the cabin way up north. So I think we’re probably pretty good. Anyways, and even if she is listening. I have deep respect for her because exactly what she did here.
Jason: We sat down and I said hey, I need to know what’s going on. And I know you speak the truth. So, give it to me.
Jason: And she’s laid out in very specific form exactly what I was doing is wrong, which all related back to the fact that I wasn’t being relational I wasn’t connecting people and she said this and will never leave my line. She goes, Jason. It’s like you’re being a locomotive you’re moving full steam ahead but you’ve not connected in your boxcars Oh, and if you can go from, you know, Minneapolis, Minnesota to Chicago as a local motivate if you’re not bringing your boss cars right and a locomotive with other boss cars is useless. Now that hurt tremendously. Yeah, but boy, was it the truth, it was just the truth. And so when I talk about connecting. It’s a powerful, powerful piece because it we have to connect to bring people forward. Do only way it can happen. We can’t get to collaboration. Let’s connect with people and how do we do that.
Cindra: Yeah, that’s what I was going to ask you.
Jason: It’s really simple, really simple, listen and ask questions. That’s all it is. The common cold a poor leadership is bad listening. It’s. It really is. We get strung up with so many things that are going on, somebody comes into my, into our office and we just ignore we just ignore I recall is another story for I love stories. It’s just fun to be to tell. So while I was serving as general principle. There was one particular teacher that just had a complaint about everything. You probably have worked with people like that before. I’m sure many of those that are listening right now you know the coworker right you know you know the person that no matter what it is, could be a beautiful day outside, they’ll find something wrong with the day. Okay, this is the one that complained about teachers and students and curriculum and temperature the classroom and once told me in 1978 her tomatoes didn’t ripen in her garden was complaining about that. I’m like, are you kidding me, this is a good so she’d come to my office frequently with a complaint and I’d be typing away on an email because that’s what important people do. And I’d be typing away and I turned to her and I would continue to type as I was listening to her.
Cindra: Oh, sure.
Jason: Well, obviously it wasn’t good listening. So I go through my portable classroom experience and getting some feedback I recognize it got to be a better listener. One day she comes in and it turned all my stuff I turn my screen. I’ve moved my keyboard I scored my shoulders of her and I just said, how can I help you today, and she went off on a complaint. And I said, Okay, well I’ll see what I can do about that and I wrote it down and I didn’t even do anything yet. But you know what happened and later I found this out. She went back upstairs. This before school she went back upstairs. She gathered together a teacher buddies and she goes, guys, you know what Mr. Hunt really cares, you’d have no idea, like I just sat down with him and he truly listened to what I just said in three minutes time I started to change the entire culture that school yeah, because I listen.
Cindra: Yeah, awesome.
Jason: So there’s maybe we could go deep into listening and some different strategies and skills to do to do it. I think we all probably know what it means. If I could share anything. I would just say, Stephen Covey’s got these great five levels of listening. The fourth is active listening, which most of us have in our mind of what good listening is the fifth is empathetic listening are you listening so well that you’re feeling the same feelings, the other person’s feeling. That’s what we should strive to you get there as a leader that you can honestly and emotionally feel the same kinds of things that they’re going through. You’re a good listener. We do it occasionally right somebody announces to us. We have that they have cancer, guess what we become amazing listeners. They cry. We cry. We are empathetically listening. So we’ve got the capacity. We just don’t apply a very often.
Cindra: Yeah, and maybe it’s to protect ourselves, you know, I think about like when I feel what someone else’s feeling and they’re struggling. It’s like, oh, I don’t want to feel that way. Rather, I’d rather just kind of, you know, like maybe not connect as it’s a lot easier.
Cindra: A lot easier. So I know you talked about, or you talk about these three key questions to develop trust. Are those the three questions you’re asking are telling us sharing with us earlier which is what do you dream about what do you cry about and then what was the third one?
Jason: Dream sing and cry. So what do you dream about that is, you know, looking far forward in the future. What are your passions, your desires. Where do you want to be in life. What kinds of big dreams you have what are you seeing about what’s going on right now that’s just really good you know everybody’s got something good and they’re proud of going on and relax at any given moment. Ask them.Take a minute and ask them, just listen right connecting is asking questions and listening to ask them and find out what’s going on and then the final thing is what do you cry about, you know, what’s bothering you. What’s upsetting you, what’s really causing you problems. I’ve, I’ve used this in one on ones before I’ve encouraged people to use no one’s really simple. It’s a three-question agenda, but it gets right to the heart of where people are at it helps it be more focused on what their you know what their agenda is instead of what our agenda might be yeah, I’ve used it in honest honestly in networking events. I’ve used it in first, first time conversations with people. You know there might be a little bit of groundwork about whether in sports first, but then have the courage is a dive in and you know what people remember you if you’re the guy that showed up to a networking event and said, Hey, what do you cry about they’ll remember that, too, to you know, just talking about the weather for 15 minutes with each other.
Cindra: Right. Those questions really do go deep. When I think about what you would ask me when I dream about, you know, it’s also like focused on me like you’re suspending your own needs and you’re telling the person something really important to you. I could see those questions very, very powerful. Let’s talk about the we talked about care and connect. Let’s talk about courage and I know that means, you know, doing the hard things, but tell us a bit more about how do we have courage when we lead?
Jason: Yeah, I think that courage is embedded in each of these other three is very closely because you can’t do any of them without encouraged. If, if you are a manufacturing, let’s just say that you are the plant manager. All right. You’ve been in the manufacturing organization for 25 or 30 years or something of that and I’m not trying to stereotypical, you know, I’m not trying to be stereotypical here at all. But I work with manufacturing a lot and in a guy like that probably is not a feeling-oriented kind of guy. They just been in this environment and manufacturing tends to be a little bit rougher, you know, compared to maybe some other industries and whatnot and for them to come out and say hey guys, I care about you. I really care about your success. I care about your families, I care about you, personally. That takes courage. That’s not easy to do. I know that a lot of times when we talk about courage. People like well you got to make the hard decisions. True. Okay. That takes courage to we got to give the tough feedback it true that takes courage to but it takes courage to shut up and just allow somebody to talk, right. It takes courage to not express your opinion before you gather the opinions of others. It takes courage to be able to give a crap and actually make that happen. It takes courage and we’ll get into this in just a minute. It takes courage to let go of those tasks
that you just love yeah, trust them to somebody else.To empower and allow that collaboration to happen. It takes courage to that. So when I talk about courage and I don’t go too deep into this because courage is solved by one, one thing, one thing that and that’s all you need. Mel Robbins wrote a book called the five second rule. Right, that’s all you need. That’s all you need. Right. And you, I’m gonna let you guys buy the book and go out and get the get the audio version because she’s fantastic. She’s just fun to listen to. She’s her life. My life was messed up. And then she turned it all around. Now she makes millions of dollars off a stupid dumb little concept but it works is this count down from five seconds. And since a blast off right 54321 physically get up and do something If you know you people aren’t feeling very much care and you should show some appreciation that thought hit hits your mind. You just count 54321 doesn’t matter what you getting stopped get up from your seat go say thanks for somebody just do it. Yeah, that’s the solution. It’s as easy as that. But we don’t do it because it takes courage.
Cindra: And it’s so much easier to be comfortable no do that.
Jason: Oh, yeah, well, I gotta finish report. Guess what that’s going to slip your mind and you didn’t. You didn’t take the action. I didn’t happen.
Cindra: So Jason, tell us a bit about collaborate and you know i know you describe that as like the leaders number one job is to collaborate and empower others. So tell us a bit about that?
Jason: Yeah, the key phrase that I use in this quadrant, in this area, full body leadership is collaborative empowerment. I just love the phrase, because it’s not like delegations got this thought that, well, I’m going to pass this on right you just happen to be my monkey I’m choosing today. So this is yours, and just go do it right. You know, you need to delegate or die. I get it. But, but a true leader is going to going to really intentionally. Think about who are my people what are their strengths? Okay, and what tasks can I help them work on to strengthen their strengths. That’s what collaborative empowerment is it’s not, I’m just giving you something. It’s I’m being intentional in your development because I can see the bigger picture leaders usually get into position because they can see the bigger picture, whether it be the process of whatever organization you’re working with you just to understand the process better. Maybe it’s a people thing you just see people in a different way. You see a bigger picture when it comes to people. I don’t know what it is but leaders see more and they see before they see a bigger picture and so our job now is to be able to help that person fit into that bigger picture by identifying strengths tailoring and customizing whatever the test might be to the person’s strengths and then gradually helping them reach up and grow from that, from that area that’s really what it’s about.
Cindra: So do you think that’s the best way to help people grow or are there other ways that you would suggest, you know, to help with this collaborative empowerment?
Jason: I think that is the number one way to go. I, I honestly don’t think there’s a better way to do it. You can obviously give them a book and read a book that’s good. You can send me the
conference. That’s good too, but when you sit one on one and you, you kind of help them along the way that you know they have to do it. They have to see it. They have to give be given that responsibility, think about how we raise kids. You know, we don’t raise kids by just telling them everything that we do. We sit down, we show them you know my I haven’t mowed the lawn in our house for probably six years, seven years because I because I showed my son, like I said, Okay, this is a deal and I step by step walkthrough every little I like I would show him how to how to go around the dumb little water turn off valves and middle of our yard that, you know, if you go over the top of your gonna hit away your blade right yeah, I had a show them how to go around that I had to show them what straight lines were because one of the first time he did. He did this way, you know, bad that but you gotta let them make their mistakes and he couldn’t make that mistake and I couldn’t teach him about the mistake, unless I empowered him first. And now I don’t even worry about it. It’s him in his in his younger son. That’s all they do the Illinois. I don’t even reminded them nothing I’ve empowered them awesome collaboration that happens in the beginning they become empowered. Now I have more time as a dad to spend with my daughters, I have more time to be able to get some work done. So then when they’re done with their work and I’m done with my work. We can go do something fun together and that’s what leaders can do you know, all these leaders are running around saying, well, there’s no time. I’m so busy. Your problem is you’re not in power. You know your people want more responsibility they want to do more. You’re not giving it to them, you’re, you’re, you’re being too selfish and focused on getting exactly right, move beyond that start focusing on the other people collaboratively empower with them and help them grow and your life becomes easier.
Cindra: So Jason, I’m thinking about, if you could do it all over again. Right. And if you had an opportunity to lead an element or let’s say junior high school. That’s where you were at before, what would you do differently if you’re starting that job, you know, another time?
Jason: Sure, great question. I thought about it often and the first thing I’d say is I wouldn’t want to do it over in a different way because I learned so much. It’s in the hardest times of our life that we learn the most you know we hold those right next to our heart, the good times we put in our pocket. We carry them around a little bit, remember them. But the hardest times in our life. They make a difference. They change. Absolutely. However, if I were giving advice to a new principal
Cindra: That’s a better question.
Jason: I, you know, it really would be this, you have to connect with them before you can lead them and so I would say start right off in the bidding. Don’t worry about it because you’re, you know, you’re going to want to get into the test any leader is going to want to get into tasks you know well, I got to understand the strategic direction. Well, I’ve got to understand this process. I’ve got understand what meetings are gonna be on my calendar. I got to understand, you know, what’s, what’s the, what’s the chain of command for this particular one you know, you’ll get that you’ll get that, who are your people? I’d say, go to your people ask them the three connecting key, key questions. Once you once you ask those three questions to every one of
your staff members now start figuring out strategic direction now figure out what tasks and processes, you need to revise or go through and I tell you what, if you do the people stuff. First, the other stuff will come so much easier and you’ll have a team to be to go with you on that route.
Cindra: Yeah, love it. Jason, what great content that you shared with us today. I’m thinking a lot about how it relates to my own life and my leadership and I know everyone else’s thinking about their leadership as well. So I’m going to work. To summarize, today the best that I can
Jason: And then I love listening. So that’s a good listening skill.
Cindra: That’s it. Okay, there we go, summarizing. I love to just the three of the four C’s. We talked about caring connect courage and collaborate and I like this kind of the idea of like this, full body leadership where heart is carrying head is connecting fee is courage and then hands are collaborating. I thought the stuff the content you shared with us about caring was awesome. I love the crap principle and then just like seeing everyone is a 10 I appreciate her conversation about that and being less judgmental of yourself so you can kind of ease up on other people when you’re talking about connection as the most important. I thought that was powerful and that even relates to the advice he just would give to a new principal and the three powerful questions. I thought, those are really things that people could take away and use immediately. So Jason. Thank you so much for joining us today. How can people reach out to you and connect with you tell us where you are on social or the web?
Jason: Sure, all my social is at the at sign right O the letter I two and then squared plus b squared squared so wo squared. You can also type in eye to eye to eye squared. And that will get you to my website. I’m on all your social media kind of kind of all over the place there. But that’s the best hashtag beautifying or just do a simple search Jason Hunt leadership development.
Cindra: Absolutely. And tell us about your book the other side?
Jason: Yeah, yeah. So a couple of years ago. In fact, I think I’m just passing our two year anniversary. Right now I mostly wrote the book because I needed to understand my content better
Jason: For sure. But it turned out pretty dang good like I’m pretty proud of the book and it is Five Ways to Lead with Influence. So I hadn’t quite developed the full body leadership model at that point when I wrote the book, but all the concepts we’ve been talking about, especially the core components and the importance of each of these different pieces are in the book and so the, kind of, it’s a guidebook for us to do to kind of walk through how we can be able to grow and develop an influence and it gives you a very specific strategic tools and ideas and how you can be to do this with our individuals, I share my whole story throughout the entire book I give
you online resources to go to to do some of your own assessments interviewed you know use these tools in a very practical kind of way that you can find that on Amazon. Again, just search Jason hunt and the other side is what the name of it is the other side. So Jason height and the other side and that will take you right to my book and you can get it shipped to your house and medical is.
Cindra: Exactly. Well, Jason. Thank you so much for joining us. Do you have any final advice or thoughts or people as we close up.
Jason: You know, CIndra. I want to first off, appreciate or express my appreciation to you give a crap, right. For taking some time. I mean, it’s black Friday who works on Black Friday and but this has been thoroughly enjoyable and I really enjoy following you and the work that you do. You really are a person of influence. It’s making a big impact. I see that both personally and professionally. I see that happening. So it’s really great. And that really would be my final words for everybody, no matter where you are in life no matter what your position or your title might be. We all have influence and we can all make that influence grow. It’s, it’s possible and, you know, on your deathbed. You know what we all start thinking about what kind of impact we made, we can make positive impacts. But we’ve got to be intentional we have to believe that we have influenced and it can make a difference in people. We have to have the courage to be able to do the things to make the difference in their lives and if we do so, gosh, there’s so much joy that comes out of life. So it really is. It really is about influencing for impact that’s the core of where my ultimate belief is and it’s possible for every one of us. So no matter who you are, whoever’s listening or watching this later. Just, just believe that trust me and move forward with full face full faith that you’ve got influence and you can make a difference. You can make a positive impact.
Cindra: Well, Jason. Thank you so much for joining us today. I appreciate that you’re here with us on Black Friday sharing your wisdom and your knowledge, so, so grateful for you. Thank you so much for joining us.
Jason: You’re welcome. We’ll see you