Catalytic Leadership

CEO Insights: Jeff Dolan on Leadership, Personal Branding, and More

September 04, 2023 Dr. William Attaway Season 2 Episode 5
CEO Insights: Jeff Dolan on Leadership, Personal Branding, and More
Catalytic Leadership
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Catalytic Leadership
CEO Insights: Jeff Dolan on Leadership, Personal Branding, and More
Sep 04, 2023 Season 2 Episode 5
Dr. William Attaway

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Ever wondered what it takes to be a successful CEO and build an impactful personal brand? Then strap in, as I sit down with Jeff Dolan, the dynamic CEO of Wavve, who walks us through his journey and imparts hard-earned wisdom on leadership, personal branding, and more. Jeff gives us a peek into his early ambitions, the importance of sales as a leadership skill, and how respect is instrumental in business success. Let's dive into an enriching discussion about Wavve's unique mission to aid podcasters and audio creators in making their mark on social media.

As we continue our chat, Jeff dissects the CEO role and the value of life-long learning in leadership. He drives home the importance of consistency in creating content and leveraging it to mold a robust personal brand. Ever wondered how to maintain a commanding presence in Zoom calls? Jeff provides us with insightful tips, emphasizing the impact of self-assessment, confidence, and the role of health in effective leadership. He shares an intriguing analogy of a jar of water, underlining how your life choices influence the perception of others towards you.

Closing our eye-opening conversation, we traverse the hurdles of high-performance leadership and delve into strategies to eliminate performance valleys. Jeff shares his personal journey through jaw surgery and the life-changing impact it had on him, emphasizing the importance of a solid support system and faith. You wouldn't want to miss his thoughts on time travel, the concept of stacking dominoes, and their implications for goal achievement. Join us to absorb a wealth of knowledge from a leader who's been there and done that.

Support the Show.

About Dr. William Attaway:

Meet Dr. William Attaway, your guide to peak performance. As a seasoned Executive Mindset and Leadership Coach with nearly 30 years of experience, William empowers high-performance entrepreneurs and agency owners to conquer challenges and maximize their potential. Join him on the Catalytic Leadership podcast as he shares insights on achieving Clear-Minded Focus, Calm Control, & Confidence, helping you thrive in business and life.

Grab your free copy of Dr. William Attaway's new book, CATALYTIC LEADERSHIP: 12 Keys To Becoming An Intentional Leader Who Makes A Difference.

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Connect with Dr. William Attaway:

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered what it takes to be a successful CEO and build an impactful personal brand? Then strap in, as I sit down with Jeff Dolan, the dynamic CEO of Wavve, who walks us through his journey and imparts hard-earned wisdom on leadership, personal branding, and more. Jeff gives us a peek into his early ambitions, the importance of sales as a leadership skill, and how respect is instrumental in business success. Let's dive into an enriching discussion about Wavve's unique mission to aid podcasters and audio creators in making their mark on social media.

As we continue our chat, Jeff dissects the CEO role and the value of life-long learning in leadership. He drives home the importance of consistency in creating content and leveraging it to mold a robust personal brand. Ever wondered how to maintain a commanding presence in Zoom calls? Jeff provides us with insightful tips, emphasizing the impact of self-assessment, confidence, and the role of health in effective leadership. He shares an intriguing analogy of a jar of water, underlining how your life choices influence the perception of others towards you.

Closing our eye-opening conversation, we traverse the hurdles of high-performance leadership and delve into strategies to eliminate performance valleys. Jeff shares his personal journey through jaw surgery and the life-changing impact it had on him, emphasizing the importance of a solid support system and faith. You wouldn't want to miss his thoughts on time travel, the concept of stacking dominoes, and their implications for goal achievement. Join us to absorb a wealth of knowledge from a leader who's been there and done that.

Support the Show.

About Dr. William Attaway:

Meet Dr. William Attaway, your guide to peak performance. As a seasoned Executive Mindset and Leadership Coach with nearly 30 years of experience, William empowers high-performance entrepreneurs and agency owners to conquer challenges and maximize their potential. Join him on the Catalytic Leadership podcast as he shares insights on achieving Clear-Minded Focus, Calm Control, & Confidence, helping you thrive in business and life.

Grab your free copy of Dr. William Attaway's new book, CATALYTIC LEADERSHIP: 12 Keys To Becoming An Intentional Leader Who Makes A Difference.

Discovery Call:
Book your free 30-minute strategic and discovery call.

Connect with Dr. William Attaway:

Website
LinkedIn
Facebook
Instagram
TikTok
YouTube

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Catalytic Leadership, the podcast designed to help leaders intentionally grow and thrive. Here is your host author and leadership and executive coach, dr William Attaway.

Speaker 2:

Hey, it's William and welcome to today's episode of the Catalytic Leadership podcast. Each week, we tackle a topic related to the field of leadership. My goal is to ensure that you have actionable steps you can take from each episode to grow in your own leadership. Growth doesn't just happen. My goal is to help you become intentional about it. Each week, we spotlight leaders from a variety of fields, organizations and locations. My goal is for you to see that leaders can be catalytic, no matter where they are or what they lead. I draw inspiration from the stories and journeys of these leaders, and I hear from many of you that you do, too.

Speaker 2:

Let's jump into today's interview. I am thrilled to have Jeff Dolan on the show today. Jeff is the CEO of Wave, a cloud-based platform that helps podcasters and other audio creators keep marketing on social media simple. He is a podcaster, musician and award-winning filmmaker who loves to encourage creators of all stripes. In 2018, he started a marketing agency that led to his exiting corporate America and putting into practice all the marketing strategies he had learned. After three times in the revenue for one of his first clients, he knew he could execute. As CEO of Wave, he is stretching and learning new skills in his quest to fulfill his calling. Jeff, I'm so glad you're here today. Thanks for being on the show.

Speaker 3:

Thanks, william, I appreciate it. I'd love to be here.

Speaker 2:

I would love for you to share some of your story with our listeners, Jeff, particularly around your journey and your development as a leader. How did you get started?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, that's a big question and I appreciate that intro. I've always wanted to be a CEO and I know that sounds kind of funny, but I've always, from when I was a little kid, was like, yeah, I want to lead, I want to be a leader. I guess it's because mentors and parents and things growing up they've always said you're a leader, work on leadership, and always put me in those positions. As I got into college and then I started web design firm in high school, I was kind of like the nerd kid. That was the first one in my town doing websites and nobody knew what that was. I was building and so everyone thought you're going to be the next big tech guy.

Speaker 3:

Then I got into college and then they had the dot-com boom. When I was in college it was like, oh my goodness, this is the next, this is it. I'm going to get my ticket to Silicon Valley and it's going to be amazing. I was a little too young, I was a little too early and it crashed. I graduated right after it crashed. No one was getting jobs, everyone was out of business.

Speaker 2:

It was like well, good timing, right yeah exactly.

Speaker 3:

Well, I guess I'm not going to be doing that. So it was funny. I had friends that were like, hey, I put dot-com on my business idea. Now they gave me a million dollars and it's amazing, then they were all out of business quickly after. Yeah, it was very eye-opening and it kind of taught me that you really need to work on the basic skills that you need to be a leader.

Speaker 3:

The first one, absolutely hands down, is sales. And so I said, all right, well, if everyone is starting over and hitting reset here, I need to just learn sales. And it was the last thing I wanted to learn. I mean, I had friends that were going to work for all these companies and I was like, why would you ever want to do that? I mean, just calling people randomly, that seems like the worst job ever. So I had to swallow my pride and just say, ok, well, this is what you need to learn.

Speaker 3:

And I also knew, because my father was a Marine pilot, that there's a kind of a meritocracy in business. In the military, you earn your rank right, you earn your keep, and if you're going to be a leader, if you're going to be a CEO, you have to have the respect of the people that are growing your business. So if you don't have the respect of your sales team, I mean good luck, right, it's going to be harder to lead, basically. So I kind of put two and two together in college and said, all right, so I want the respect of the sales team if I'm going to lead anything. So I got to be the best sales guy, so I better learn how to sell.

Speaker 3:

And so my first job was a medical software sales job out of college and the CEO was a very hard hitting sales guy, like here's how it works, here's the numbers to call, here's the phone go, and he even called it the bullpen. He was like wow, and he loved it. He thought it was great, and so he just threw all these new college grads into this bullpen and we made 100 calls a day. I mean it just was like all hands on deck, let's go. And so I had a very interesting kind of start to my career for sure.

Speaker 2:

So tell me about Wave. I know it's a SaaS company. What does Wave do?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So Wave helps podcasters and audiobook authors and speakers to turn their audio recordings into videos to share on social media in order to grow their influence. So if you're trying to be out on social media to market your message, your company, whatever you're doing your music, your book, your podcast then the best way to do that is to give them short clips of the best moments of that longer form content than to just drop a link or an image or something of you know. Hey, go check out this big long thing that you may not even be interested in. So we're trying to create, help you create trailers of your best moments instead of.

Speaker 3:

You know, I think if you think of movies as an example, right, they don't just share a link to the entire movie and say, hey, go watch this whole movie and it's like okay, like what's it about? Do I care? And if you're not like Hollywood level and you don't have like interesting special effects or famous actors or whatever and your stuff, you're just, you know, the average person. You have a tall task to compete with everything else in the world, right? So what are you talking about that's going to interest someone either? Entertainment value, self improvement, value, wisdom, like. What are you sharing that's so interesting that they'll say, okay, I'm going to stop the scroll and I'm going to go listen to this thing. And so we help you to kind of stop the scroll.

Speaker 3:

That pattern break where they say, ooh, what is this thing? Like something's moving here. It's a video, but it's it looks like a quote card or maybe it's. I don't know what this is, what is this thing? And they stop and they pause for a second and they consume your kind of trailer for your real content, right? And so I think, with the onslaught of social media, it's a very noisy out there. It's a very hard environment to capture people, and so what we're helping you do is forget editing video. Forget trying to spend a lot of time creating this content. You already did all the work to create your podcast or your audio book or your music. Let's just take a clip from it. Put a nice image that you probably already have, right? You probably already did a lot of work on your album cover or your podcast cover or your nice professional photo or whatever. It is right, you probably already did all this work. Let's just reuse all that and make a video that you can put across all your socials.

Speaker 2:

Brilliant. So the question I'm sure everybody is wondering right now is did you bring that same concept from the job where you started into Wave, like, do you have a room of people that are sitting there making 100 calls a day?

Speaker 1:

No, I mean I'm sure everybody's wondering that you know like because there's no such thing as a wasted experience, right?

Speaker 2:

You always bring your experiences forward. So I'm just curious, you know, do you have that?

Speaker 3:

Well, you know, it's really you know it's interesting about that question, though, so you just made me think of it. The purpose of doing that back then and this is going to age me, of course but when we were cold calling like that, there was no social media, there was no way to just get in front of a bunch of people, right? And so you were literally mimicking what social media does today. So your 100 calls are 100 impressions that you're making on social media Absolutely, 100 posts. You put that together, but you ask the good question, right? So, absolutely, the bats for sales that you're getting today are actually social media impressions, right? Like, how often are you getting in front of people with their paid ads, free content? How are you doing it in an organic way, where you're getting in front of somebody for them to have a shot at saying yes to you?

Speaker 2:

I love that you're taking your experience, you're taking something that you know a lot about and you're leveraging for the benefit of other people, right for your clients. Tell me about being a CEO for the first time. You always wanted to do this, right. I mean, you were a kid. Yeah, what's your name?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it was crazy, I think what my initial thought was. Finally, I made it right. You get that kind of like yes, like I got the title, but the title means nothing, right, yeah?

Speaker 1:

exactly.

Speaker 3:

I've learned that that's kind of like when you finally get there, everyone's like, who cares? That means nothing, especially today. Right, you can put CEO on your Instagram or Twitter bio or X bio, whatever you call it. Now you can put your you know, oh, I'm the CEO, I'm the founder of whatever. It's like who cares? Nobody cares now Like big whoop. So it's kind of anticlimactic. It's like, well, you made it, but you know what's next.

Speaker 3:

But, that being said, I think it is an honor and it is a responsibility, and I've always known that to aspire to be a leader is really to aspire to be a servant. So you're really serving more people and you're getting the opportunity to serve more people, Whereas if you're an end producer working for somebody, you are the end producer producing the thing. Right, You're literally serving your boss. I mean, you could say you're serving your customers, but your, your, really your primary objective is to your boss or whoever's paying you, right. And so when you go to the top that kind of inverts Now your primary objective is like your customers, your, you know, your investors, like all the people that are investing into you to get you to serve more people.

Speaker 3:

And so I think that's been a humbling thing and it's also been a I don't want to say a weight, but it's a. It's a good pressure, it's a good responsibility to to know that you're in a position of serving a lot of people. It grows your character, for sure. It makes you make better decisions, wiser decisions. It makes you think longer term about what's good for the company, while also thinking short term about how to survive and how to earn. So yeah, I've learned a lot and I've grown a lot as well in the process.

Speaker 2:

And that, to me, is what a catalytic leader looks like Somebody who is continuing to learn, is continuing to grow and realizes that there is no finish line, right, that you never stop learning, you never stop growing.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

When you think about content creation, you think about your journey, but what have you learned so far, up to this point?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so one of the things that's really clear is that you have to show up consistently online if you're going to be relevant. And then what that leads to is you build a community of people around you, right Around what you're saying, around what your message is. And if you don't show up consistently, it's kind of like you stop calling your friend or you stop showing up for weekly meetings or monthly meetings, or you stop showing up in person and all of a sudden people just kind of move on and they kind of forget what's going on with you, right. And so what I've realized is, if you have a business, if you have a message, if you have something that you're trying to do, pick a cadence that you can consistently show up on and do it and show up and build your audience. And that is kind of the standard starting point where you're going to take your leadership, your message, your company to the next level by starting there, because you can't really move the needle if you don't have attention and community.

Speaker 2:

What would you say to those who are listening? There are a lot of founders, a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of agency owners that are listening. What would you say to encourage them where they are? Some of them still feel like they're on the sidelines with this thing. I was talking to an agency owner just last week who said, yeah, I'm working so much for all my clients. I'm really not promoting my thing, my agency. It's like the shoemaker's kids who have no shoes right Reach it.

Speaker 1:

What would?

Speaker 2:

you say to encourage people like this who feel like they haven't really gotten in the game yet.

Speaker 3:

I feel the same way a lot of times. Right, there's always that battle between building the company brand and building your personal brand. There's been a shift. There's been a huge shift actually in the market. If you look at even what brands like ConvertKit, they're focused on individual influencers. If you look at Canva in the market, I just got an email the other day. They were saying hey, our new affiliate program is only going to work with individuals, individuals that have brands. We're not working with companies.

Speaker 3:

Literally, I was shocked. Are you kidding me? What? They literally cut us off. That's it. No, we want individuals.

Speaker 3:

I might need to just re-sign up as Jeff Dolan, yeah right, but it's very interesting because the personal brand is becoming more powerful as a trend, because people trust people. They're less trusting of the government. They're less trusting of big brands, big companies. It's very hard to stand out and tell your story if you're not going to build your personal brand. A lot of agency owners and executives they feel that pressure to build their personal brand as well as their business brand. The other real life reason is because businesses don't last as long as people do. That's true Most of them. It's very rare. What you end up having is, if you build a personal brand, you can take that as a valuable asset to whatever company you're going to work for. If you sell your company, you still have your personal brand to rebuild your next company. It's a very interesting asset to have. That I think a lot of people recognize and a lot of people want.

Speaker 3:

But how do you go about that? How do you find the time? How do you get in the game? It's a very hard and difficult journey because it forces you to come out of hiding and to figure out what your story is, figure out what your message is, figure out what the value is that you want to provide in the world. That's all hard work. That's all inner work that you have to do. That's so true.

Speaker 3:

What am I doing about it? I think I have been trying to create content like this. Being on podcasts has been a great leveraged way to make content without having to spend an enormous amount of time. That's one way you could do it. You can use a lot of the new AI tools that are coming out, A lot of the new tools. Just pick one.

Speaker 3:

There's so much noise out there, I think, especially for leaders. Gosh, we see so many stories of people that, oh, this person, they're making millions of dollars and what are you doing? Right, You're just sitting there like man. What am I doing? I don't even know People going to outer space and like what are we doing? I don't know, it can feel noisy and overwhelming, but just know that if you take one step every day toward your goal, just be happy with that and be okay with the fact that you know what. Today, I did one thing. I posted one piece of content. I wrote down my superhero backstory. This is what I'm going to work on today. This is the one step. Just be confident and content in taking and making forward progress.

Speaker 2:

Imagine it's a little bit different for you being a filmmaker and being used to being behind the camera now sitting in front of it. What's that?

Speaker 3:

like. That is one of the big barriers that I was just talking about. A lot of, especially executives, a lot of us we like leading, but we don't necessarily want to always be in the spotlight. A lot of us are operators. We like doing the work, we enjoy the work. All of a sudden, we find ourselves in the spotlight and it's like okay, lead us by saying stuff on camera, in front of the camera, Lead us by your thought leadership, your writing, your content you're creating. In a world of YouTube and TikTok and all these video platforms, you have to be on camera. You have to learn how to speak well. You have to learn how to talk without ums and aas and you-knows, and that's very scary. I think I don't know what the stats are now. I'd be interested to see what the latest numbers are, but it used to be before all the social media stuff. It was like public speaking was more scary than death.

Speaker 2:

It still is. It still is.

Speaker 3:

I haven't seen any recent numbers on that. Yeah, that's a big barrier when you move from being a filmmaker behind the camera and then trying to tell a story where you're also on camera. My respect for actors that are actors and directors is way high right now, because it's easy to direct when you're behind the camera and you're like I need you to just fix this and do this. But then when it's yourself and you're like, oh, hold on, get in front of the camera now. Why can't you act? What's wrong with you? You're a split personality. You're directing and editing yourself.

Speaker 3:

I think just working on practicing is helpful. I think YouTube I'm sorry, not YouTube Zoom has helped a lot. If you look at each Zoom like you're on TV, like we're tenure being interviewed on some big news outlet or something, that helps Really look at the visual image that you're presenting and your background and your lighting and what you're wearing and how your face is and where you are on the screen and how big your head is and what your voice sounds like. All those things is what a director would look at if they're composing a film. That's why films are beautiful and we like them as art.

Speaker 3:

Really, put your director hat on and look at what are you producing. What does it look like? What does it sound like? Don't critique yourself in a bad way. Just say what's one thing I can fix every time I'm on Zoom. That's a really helpful exercise to go through. It's like okay and you'll hear feedback. You'll get on a meeting and they're like, whoa, I like your background, or oh, I like what you're doing with your lighting, or oh, I like your. You sound better today. As you iterate and as you get better, it builds confidence in you. You'll get to a point where it'll be fun, it'll be much better and you'll be more excited about getting on video. And then it releases the pressure and the fear of it. I think just looking at it from that standpoint has really helped me to overcome that resistance to getting on camera.

Speaker 2:

How do you stay on top of your game, Jeff? How do you level up with new leadership skills? You need leadership skills today that you did not need five years ago.

Speaker 3:

How do?

Speaker 2:

you keep leveling up.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it definitely is the people you surround yourself with, and so you become like the people you surround yourself with. I know that's kind of a trite saying now, especially as I've surrounded myself with leaders. You definitely need the right podcasts, you need the right books, you need to be analyzing what are all your inputs, because your inputs kind of lead your outputs and so if your inputs are not leadership, not good, not growth, not, you know, they're just negative or then it's going to come out in your life, it's going to lead to bad habits.

Speaker 3:

I think, also, having your health be a pillar of your kind of routine is very helpful, because you don't want your health to get in the way, and I've seen a lot of people where they got everything going for them, they're doing all the right things, but I'm sick, I hurt myself or I strained this or I pulled this, or I got to go to the doctor again, or I got indigestion or I'm stressed or my mental health is not right or whatever. All those things are just preventing you from taking steps forward. You want to take that off the table. That's a non-negotiable. Health is a non-negotiable Get that right. That's why you see a lot of leaders that are talking about health, because there's a reason for that. It helps them perform, it helps them get to the next level. If you're well rested, if you slept really good, if you didn't have a fight with your significant other, if you're doing well and your relationships are intact, I mean wow, you can show up and you can be joyful and you can be happy and you can enjoy what you do and everybody's going to be happy around you. That's the kind of environment that you want to create for yourself and for your people. I think those are huge things that I've really worked on to get to a point where it's like, okay, now that I've done all that, what are the inputs the books, the podcast, the friends, the mentors that I can have pour into me to then give me those next level ideas and help me grow and look at things differently? That's what I would encourage somebody is just analyze all your inputs, including your food and things like that, but also your mind. You know now what are you digesting and then that should, over time, change your outlook. And this really awesome example that I've seen is and I don't know if I was at Boy Scout Camp or maybe in church or something I saw this analogy, but this is a fascinating analogy.

Speaker 3:

The problem was presented. They did this experiment. They said, okay, everybody, we've got this jar of water right. And they said we're going to. And they had like probably 30 different canisters of stuff on the table in front of the whole room and they said, all right, this first one we have is this is battery acid and we're going to pour this in the water. And then we have what's the next one? We got hot sauce and they put that you know, this is dirt, we're going to put this in. You know, this one is, you know, whatever, all this nasty stuff, mustard ketchup, I mean. By the time they were done with it it was like a black muck of just nastiness, right. And they said, who in the audience is going to come up here and drink this? And of course, no one, no one. And then some guy in the back you know, that is a plant, you know raises his hand and says I'll drink it. And everyone's like no, there's no way.

Speaker 3:

And in this analogy, the reason I'm bringing this up is because we are the, we are the person, right, we are the person and our audience is determining. Are we going to drink from this person? Are we going to accept the content or or whatever from this person? Are they toxic or not? And so if we let all these toxic things in our life and we become this really muddy, nasty water, nobody is going to want to be a part of our life or drink anything that we're, you know, putting out right. And so we got this nasty, mucky thing and the guy in the back is like I'm going to drink it.

Speaker 3:

And so the whole audience leans in and they're like there's no way this guy is going to drink all this I mean he'll die Like it's like nasty, and there was some stuff in there they put in there that I won't mention, but it's nasty. So so everyone's leaning in and he gets up there and he, he picks it up like he's going to drink it, and then he's like ah, and everyone's like ah, we knew you weren't going to drink it. But then he puts it on the table and he takes a pure distilled water, like a big gallon of it, and he starts pouring it into the, into the cup of all this nasty, toxic stuff. And he as he pours it, it starts overflowing and all the toxic stuff starts clearing out. And by the time he's done pouring this jug of distilled water, the entire toxic glass of water is now clear. And then he picks it up and he drinks it and everyone is just like what, what?

Speaker 2:

That's so good. Yeah, what are you putting in?

Speaker 3:

What are you putting in that's?

Speaker 2:

so good man. I love that. You know leadership is not just about the, the highlight reel. You know every leader. I know experiences, not just the hamo, it's not just the mountaintops but also the challenges. What are some of the challenges that you have faced in your journey so far?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's a really good one. Yeah, babe, echard has a really good that was book and a bunch of teachings on this about high performance. And so if you're a high performance leader, what it means is you are consistently performing at a high level, meaning you're not the kind of person that has a really high high and a really low low and you're jumping between the two and you're going from peak to valley and you're really struggling and you're trying to average out to be going up. What he's found is that high performers can figure out how to make their valleys really shallow and they stay at this really high level of performance, and so that's something that I've really tried to strive for. But what that means is you have to eliminate the things in your life that can cause the valleys right, and so when you do that audit I was talking about of your health, that's one of the areas that people can really have these big valleys.

Speaker 3:

Now there's things in your life that happen that you just can't. You can't fix right. People die, you get sick. I know in my life one of the big things that happened was I had periodontal disease and it was very hard because I had never had a cavity in my life. I had always flossed every day, faithful, right, but not to get too personal. But I went vegan for five to seven years like full vegan and I was already gluten free before that.

Speaker 2:

Oh man.

Speaker 3:

So I was a gluten free vegan. It's super hard to do, right, it's super hard to do, I would think, but I had to give it up because when I finally figured out what was going on with me, as a vegan, you are trying to get calories right and so you can eat as many vegetables as you want Well, you can also eat as many, as much rice and oats and things like that as you want to, because that's technically a vegetable to satiate. And so what was happening is I was getting in a situation where I was, I had too many carbs, right, and those carbs were translating into, you know, bad bacteria in your gut and your mouth and causing periodontal disease. My dentist did not even mention it, didn't even catch it, which angers me to the core right About some of the things.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, they came out there like whoops. Well, it's been seven years, it's been growing, we didn't know, we didn't catch it. And so now you know there's some things we gotta do and do some surgery on your mouth and my jaw, essentially, was changing the structure because it was eating underneath my gum line, oh my goodness. And so they had. I had to do a jaw surgery, basically, and fix a lot of the structure stuff, and so I had my mouth wired shut.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my goodness.

Speaker 3:

It was horrible. Man Eating through a straw is just not fun. No, so yeah, all this stuff happened personally and you know it was funny. Like you see all these people on Instagram and they're living their best life and you have no idea what they're going through. Right, you don't know their personal struggles, all the things they're going through. I've talked to so many friends. They're going through divorce, they're going through mental health issues, they're going through financial difficulties. They're kids. You know we had a neighbor the other day. They're like eight month old. Son died right. Just crazy stuff.

Speaker 3:

And then you have to go to work and you have to smile and you gotta you know hey, look at me, or whatever. It's okay. I mean, you're gonna have values. You're gonna have things that just hurt, that are really low, but you can only control your reaction to those things, right. You can only control how am I gonna react, how am I gonna act with my mindset, how am I gonna show up even in the midst of those things? And so a real leader is going to figure out others first, right, like take care of yourself. But others first, like how do I show up for others? Yes, it's hard, but they might be going through something and they need you to show up. They need you to show up in a positive way, because they're going through something that might be way worse than what you're going through. And so if you can kind of get out of your own head and empathize with others and say, hey, you know they are probably going through something worse and so how can I show up for them, Then that really gets you beyond yourself, back into that servant leader mindset where you can show up even when you're going through those valleys, and so that really helps you even out your performance because you don't go to those lows, you don't let yourself go into those dark areas where you can't pull out of it. And then I think the other side of that, too, is life will inevitably throw those super hard things at you where you can't do what I just said, right, like you just absolutely are destroyed and you cannot show up, you cannot have a positive anything, and that's okay too, right, and I think in that instance, a true leader would mitigate your downside risk is what it's called in investing, right?

Speaker 3:

How do you have a support structure in place to catch you when you go that low, when you hit rock bottom? Who is there? Do you have a family member? Do you have a friend? Do you have a wife? Do you have a husband? Do you have you know who is in your life that you're gonna fall into the arms of? Basically, like your faith, right, do you have a faith? Do you have a belief in God or a higher power, like, who is gonna be there to support you when you're at your rock bottom? And that will also help you, because what's the alternative?

Speaker 3:

The alternative is you devolve into, you know, just checking out of life for a long time, and then your value is so low that it takes you so much longer to get out of that. To get to that peak again, it might be years, right, and you might be so low and so trying to struggle and get out of it that you just don't. And then are you really, you know, gonna be where you wanna be in life? Probably not. So I think that's some of the things that you know I've dealt with and how I've gotten out of that.

Speaker 3:

But, yeah, just trying to have that support structure in place, keeping the lows as leveled as you can. And likewise, you know it's interesting I have not had as many peaks as a lot of people that obviously you see online and I think we all can identify with that as like, wow, this person's just knocking it out of the park a thousand percent here. I don't know if I'm always on the peak like all these people, but you know that's a false thing and I'm joking, but I don't think that. Well, I do think you have to mitigate against your peaks as well. In other words, when you have something, go super well in your favor, like, stay humble and don't let that thing really take you to the super high peak, like where you're just unstoppable. I'm like gonna brag and I'm just up here and look at me and like you can't do that either, cause then your peaks get so high that now you can fall pretty far yeah.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, that's so good man, I think that's so helpful. You know, to talk about mitigating the downturn, that's one thing, but mitigating the peaks, yes.

Speaker 1:

That's really good.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because, think about it, you're not technically a high performer if your peaks are so high, but then you crash back down to like some normal level, that's not even close. So you're just going from like high to like crazy high, but you're still, you know, going up and down. Up and down. It's like, well, that's still not good either, really good.

Speaker 2:

I think that's helpful. I'm curious, like, if you go back and talk to yourself, you're 22 years old, knowing what you know. Now, what would you love to go back and tell yourself?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, other than all the stock market advice, probably. Yeah, that's a good question. I think there's a lot of things that we can go back and say I would have, should have, could have. Yeah, I think there's a lot of things that you know we made decisions on that we that might have led to a different life, right? I'm trying to think of the movie.

Speaker 3:

It's called like Just in Time. I think it's kind of an unknown movie, but it's got Rachel Adams in it, the notebook actress, and it's this story about this family that has time travel in their family. Like it's like a skill that they have or something, this gift that they have. And one of the interesting not to give away the story, but one of the interesting plot points is like he ends up traveling back in time and making different decisions, but then they alter his children. So like he comes back to his present day and his kids are different, because you know how it works out. It just that was a different egg and sperm that got together, right, so a lot of the things were kind of the same, but like his kids were completely different kids, right, and so just because of the decisions and stuff, so like you think, yes, I would go back and make these different decisions, but you'd be a completely different person now, right, and so you're. Really it's a fun exercise to talk about, but really you can't, you wouldn't. Even if you had the choice to and you saw what you would be, you might not wanna do it, and that's what in the movie, that's what this guy ended up deciding Like, actually I don't want to do this, right, and so I think I'm very much content with you, know my life and the decisions I've made.

Speaker 3:

However, what advice would I give?

Speaker 3:

I would say, go deeper on one thing, and I think that's where and this is unique to people that are multi-talented and multi-interested in different things, like I was, like I am we have a tendency to be jack of all trades, master of none.

Speaker 3:

It's a certain personality of leaders, right, we're very much generalists in jack of all trades because we just that's our makeup, that's what we like to do, and so, but when you're first starting off and you're not a leader and you're trying to build a skill set, my advice would be to double down on that skill set.

Speaker 3:

Get really good at one thing and get really focused on it, because that is gonna be the lever or the building block that's gonna get you to something bigger and better, whereas I took this approach of no, I'm just gonna be good at everything I can and then, slowly, I'm gonna build this pyramid right and it's just. I'm gonna just be wide, wide wide, an inch deep, but a mile wide, and I'm just gonna keep building this pyramid until I get to some level where other people are just like no, I'm just gonna build a skyscraper right here on one inch straight up, maybe, rock it past you and you're like wait a minute, how are you doing that? And maybe that's just grass is greener on the other side. But I really think that when you're younger and you're not a leader, it helps you if you can focus more.

Speaker 2:

I think that's fantastic advice. It's her book that has made a difference in your journey, One that you would recommend that every leader listening I give you add a book to your list this summer. This is the book.

Speaker 3:

Yes, absolutely. I would say the one thing for sure.

Speaker 1:

Oh it's a great book.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the one. Thing.

Speaker 2:

And your theme with what you've been talking about. That's so good man.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, the one thing so, yeah, I would say the reason that book changed so much about how I think about business and leadership is because there's one concept specifically that I kind of didn't really recognize as significant until I got into the CEO role, which is the concept of the dominoes. And so there's a concept in the book that talks about stacking your dominoes, and there's a physics lesson in it where you can take a domino and I'm gonna get this wrong but it's something like 2.5% or three I forget what the ratio is but a domino can hit over, in other words, it can knock over a domino that's much larger than itself. And so if you take the things you're trying to accomplish and you go backward from the big domino, so if you take a domino and you say I wanna accomplish, I wanna win an Oscar or whatever, then if that's your big domino, then you can go backward from there and have smaller dominoes that can achieve that next domino. So if you're like, okay, I wanna win an Oscar, well, what do I need to do to do that? Well, I need to probably star in a A-list movie. Well, how am I gonna do that? Well, how do I start an A-list movie. Well, I gotta be good at acting and I probably gotta be a star in a really small movie.

Speaker 3:

It's like, okay, well, how do we do that? Well, probably need to learn how to act and probably need to do that. Okay, well, how do you do that? Well, I probably need to move to an area where I'm around people that know how to act and I need to invest in myself and I need to get around to directors and writers. Okay, well, how do you do that? Well, probably need to move out of my small town and go somewhere. Well, maybe I need to start flying around the country and meeting some people. Okay, well, how do I do that? Well, I probably should get a job so I can afford to go fly and meet these people and invest in myself. Okay, well, how do I get a job? Well, I probably need to get a degree and learn something. Well, how do I do that? Well, I probably need right.

Speaker 3:

So you get all these dominoes and you think about it like the only thing. The one thing that you need to focus on is that next domino. That's it, and the reason that didn't really click was because the master of everything concept is that you put some eggs in about 500 baskets. All this spread out and diversified, and you know all these things and you're doing all these things. You got all these little businesses going right, but your energy, your attention, your focus is spread out so far that you cannot accomplish anything. And it's like having a million little dominoes that can't even knock over anything, right, and so you just can't make progress. And so then, but the whole time you're looking at that one domino that's impossible to knock down and you have no leverage or ability to ever knock it down, and so it won't ever happen. You'll just be dreaming and putting all your eggs in 500 baskets.

Speaker 2:

That's so good. I love that picture, man. That's so helpful. I know people are gonna wanna stay connected with you. What is the best way for them to do that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so you can go to jeffdolancom. That's my home base and I try to be active on social media. So I'm active on most social media as Jeff Dolan. And then for Wave you can go to waveco, w-a-v-v-eco, and I do write two times a week there on social media and podcasting and marketing.

Speaker 2:

Fantastic. I'm gonna be going over there right now to sign up. Cool, Jeff. Thank you again.

Speaker 3:

It was a pleasure, William. I really appreciate it. Really good questions too. Thank you so much.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for joining me for this episode today. As we wrap up, I'd love for you to do two things. First, subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss an episode, and if you find value here, I'd love it if you would rate it and review it. That really does make a difference in helping other people to discover this podcast. Second, if you don't have a copy of my newest book, catalytic Leadership, I'd love to put a copy in your hands. If you go to catalyticleadershipbookcom, you can get a copy for free. Just pay the shipping so I can get it to you and we'll get one right out.

Speaker 2:

My goal is to put this into the hands of as many leaders as possible. This book captures principles that I've learned in 20 plus years of coaching leaders in the entrepreneurial space, in business, government, nonprofits, education and the local church. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn to keep up with what I'm currently learning and thinking about. If you're ready to take a next step with a coach to help you intentionally grow and thrive as a leader, I'd be honored to help you. Just go to catalyticleadershipnet to book a call with me. Stay tuned for our next episode next week. Until then, as always, leaders choose to be catalytic.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to Catalytic Leadership with Dr William Attaway. Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don't miss the next episode. Want more? Go to catalyticleadershipnet.

Catalytic Leadership Podcast With Jeff Dolan
CEO Building Personal Brand Insights
Improving Zoom Presence and Leadership Skills
Challenges and Strategies for Leadership
Just in Time
Catalytic Leadership - Principles for Leaders