Catalytic Leadership

Mastering the Intersection of Leadership, AI, and Entrepreneurship with Jeff Zelaya

December 11, 2023 Dr. William Attaway Season 2 Episode 21
Catalytic Leadership
Mastering the Intersection of Leadership, AI, and Entrepreneurship with Jeff Zelaya
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Imagine being a first-generation American, navigating the labyrinth of leadership, and emerging as a successful entrepreneur. That's the journey our guest, Jeff Zelaya, embarked on, and in this episode, he opens up about his unique leadership development story. Through candid conversations, we delve into the mindset of a successful entrepreneur, exploring the importance of integrity and balanced success. Jeff generously shares insights into common pitfalls CEOs face and stresses the significance of embodying leadership in both business and personal life.

Ever pondered the intersection of AI trends and marketing? It's a fascinating area that we tackle in this episode, overcoming the fear associated with embracing such revolutionary technology. We delve into how AI has the potential to revolutionize business processes, saving time and enhancing efficiency. As we steer through these uncharted waters, we also tap into the power of building social capital and personal branding. Jeff spotlights the importance of nurturing connections with thought leaders and influencers, offering invaluable tips on building a robust network.

Lastly, we discuss essential books for leaders and the role of defining and living by family and business values. Jeff's work in developing successful digital agencies is also highlighted, with particular focus on his commitment to making a difference in people's lives. Gear up for an illuminating conversation featuring invaluable insights on  leadership with Jeff Zelaya.

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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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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. Let's jump in to today's interview. I am so excited today to have Jeff Zalaya on the podcast. Jeff is a seasoned entrepreneur specializing in sales and marketing consulting. With over 15 years in the industry, he empowers organizations to reach their potential. Jeff excels in identifying opportunities, generating millions in revenue for his clients. As an entrepreneur, jeff's journey was driven by creating something of his own and promoting balanced success. Beyond revenue, he guides CEOs today from various sectors, fostering work-life balance, positive environments and customer satisfaction. Throughout his career, jeff mastered million-dollar deals, turning a franchise into a seven-figure company in two years. His guidance focuses on branding, digital marketing and leadership. A frequent speaker at Adworld and the Commitment Summit, jeff shares the stage with John Maxwell, kevin Harrington and Jesse Itzler. His energy and knack for simplifying complex concepts makes him highly sought after, and I'm so glad you're here, jeff. Thanks for coming on the show.

Speaker 3:

Who is that?

Speaker 2:

guy.

Speaker 1:

I'm looking forward to meeting him and talking to him, and here you are.

Speaker 3:

That was an amazing introduction, Wow. Thank you, for I mean, I could tell you did your homework on me, you did your research and even in preparation for today, you know, really just getting to know each other and just thank you for that due diligence. And I'm also very honored to be a part of this show because I've been following some of the things that you're doing with the concept of leadership and teaching and coaching and I'm so excited just to have a conversation with you today. So thank you again for your time.

Speaker 2:

I'm looking forward to this. I really have been looking forward to it since we first talked to you. I'd love for you to start by sharing some of your story with our listeners, particularly around your journey and your development as a leader.

Speaker 3:

So I think in my family I've always been seen as a leader, and the reason for this, I think, comes from just my childhood. You know, I came, my family came, to Miami from Costa Rica, my mom's seeking a better life for her children and you know, she may not know the culture, not know the language, and as a first generation American, right, I have to lead the way right, Kind of be a translator many times, understanding the culture a little bit better, being able to show her stuff, teaching her words and being a leader in the household. So I think at an early age it was something that just was, was trusted on me and I had to step into it right. And being you know, being responsible, being you know, trying to figure out the way right, Teaching others, mentoring. So it's been kind of instilled in me from the very start just having that leadership mindset serving others, looking to help and figuring out ways where you could have an impact and always leading, first setting in your family, and then that translates to leadership within business, within the community, and ultimately, one thing we're all beginning is also leading ourselves right. How can we do a better job of leading ourselves, which we could talk about in our discussion today.

Speaker 2:

That's so good, and I love that you described leadership as a mindset, because I think that's so helpful, that language. It really does begin with how you think about your business, about your team, about people, about your clients. It all begins with how you think about them and with how you think about yourself, leading yourself. I mean you've led in a number of different contexts and various sizes of organization. How would you define leadership?

Speaker 3:

So leadership, the way I would define leadership is and I would borrow this from my mentor who helped me develop my leadership is a leader is someone that knows the way, they go the way and they show the way. And that's what a leader is in different aspects, right? So when I'm following, let's say, a leader in personal fitness, maybe a hire or coach someone to lead me, I expect that coach to have done it before, to have worked with others and have helped others get from point A to point B. Can they do that for me, right? So I look to that. Are they doing it themselves? Yeah, many people are. They do a great job preaching and talking about leadership, but then when you actually look at how do you influence it? Is that a true embodiment of a leader? So there's all these different aspects. So, for a leader, how I would define it is they know the way, they go the way and then they show others the way, and that's a leader that I want to be.

Speaker 2:

I think that's a leader of integrity, where all the parts of their life are integrated together. We've all seen examples of people who talk the way like you say, but they don't actually do it. That's a leader worth following, though, when you find somebody who does you work a lot in the entrepreneurial space in addition to being an entrepreneur yourself. Are there things that you see common threads, if you will, among the entrepreneurs that you talk to and the entrepreneurial journey you've led? Are there things that you see people need to be aware of, or pitfalls or dangers, things to be mindful of?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, there's a bunch of them out there. Yeah, dr Rowley, and I'll be honest, I think that's the first lesson that I learned as an entrepreneur is you're going to fail. Yeah, and I know if you're watching this podcast or listening to this show, you probably don't want to hear that, but guess what? You're going to fail, but it's all right. It's not failure if you learn from it. And that's the entrepreneurial mindset. Is that these people, if you're an entrepreneur, you're admitting that you're going to make mistakes, right, you're going to get some things wrong along the way. There's not a single entrepreneur that has reached a high level of success without having a few failures under their belt. So I think what we're going to be exposed to is that failure will always be looming. Be ready, be prepared as a leader. That's what you could do, right. You could focus on the preparation. We may not know exactly what's going to be on our path, because the path that we're going no one's been down this path. Yeah, I'll tell you that there is an obstacle, there will be a roadblock, but I give my team and instill that in my team and in myself. We're prepared, we're ready, our mindset is ready, our skill set is ready, we have the right players on our team, we're ready, we're going after it and whatever comes our way, together, if we're in it and we follow our plan and we are prepared, we can get through it.

Speaker 2:

You know that's not good just for entrepreneurs, is it? That's good across the board, in every sphere of your life. That's right. You know you either win or you learn something. You never fail. There's no such thing as a wasted experience.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it translates to different aspects of your life, like a lot of the same things that I'm doing in my business and the mistakes that I'm making there and the lessons I'm learning. I'm also transferring to my family life, right, for example, the importance of having values and being aligned on values something so simple but profound and could make a profound impact on your family. Imagine if you, as a family, are able to agree upon a certain set of values, that our family is after these things, and we're going to catch each other doing these things and promote each other when we're doing these things. And if we're not doing these things, we're going to call out each other and say, hey, you're not living to the values of our family. And the same is true for business, right? If you want to know a business that succeeds and grows and thrives, especially in difficult times like now, you have to be surrounded and aligned on those values that you have for your business, because we could always point back to that and say, hey, as we make these decisions, these tough decisions, are we adhering to the values that we agree are the fundamental of this business? Of this family right. So, as a business owner, always look for entrepreneurs right as you learn the business or our business lesson and I translate this to becoming a better husband, a better father in some way, and the same thing is true on that side and family stuff as you become and learn lessons, and communicating with your spouse, for example right, those could apply for business. Now I'll give you an example of this right, and this has just recently happened. I failed, dr William. I failed. My wife came to me with this big problem and I failed because I jumped in right with the solution right away. I said, babe, I got the perfect solution. And guess what happened? Guess, you know, you've been married, right? Oh, yeah, I think she didn't want the solution right then. No, she just wanted to vent, she wanted to talk with somebody, and guess what? On your team, that may happen too, on your business. So you need to be able. And with customers, it happens too. I've had many times an unhappy customer. All they wanted to do. They want me to fix it. I didn't need to give a discount, I didn't need anything aside from listening, acknowledging, empathizing. So again, always look for ways right as you become an entrepreneur I don't know where you're at on your entrepreneurial journey, but look for those lessons that translate into all aspects of your life and that's going to help you level up in leadership everywhere, everywhere, that's so good.

Speaker 2:

I think listening is one of the most underutilized and frequently undiscussed leadership tools in our bag. Like it's so powerful, but I don't hear a lot of people talking about it, and I love that you brought that up, because I think leadership is a game changer, Like our. Listening is a game changer in your leadership. When you learn truly how to listen, not just pause while you formulate the next thing you're going to say. That's not listening right, but actually listening to what the other person is saying, hearing their heart even, and that's a game changer in how you lead your team and, like you mentioned, even in the home with your spouse, with your kids.

Speaker 3:

And think about how can I become a better listener. Here's an example. Can you believe AI can make you a better listener? Help me be a better listener. Here's how. Yeah, I used to be sometimes distracted in these types of calls. I was busy writing down notes and my notes became doodles. I had an HDHD and I think a lot of people out there suffer from that. Entrepreneurs sometimes chase shiny objects. Distractions are looming everywhere. But here's how AI has helped me Most recording the call and send a great summary of the call. And now I could better analyze that conversation. And now, ok, now I could go and look at my notes. Ok, great, I forgot this part of adding to the notes, listening right, finding better ways to listen. How can you do that? One of the things, another kind of little tip right trick. This is not AI. This is old school stuff. It's just repeating what the person is saying. Sometimes our minds are going really fast and we could listen a lot faster than someone could talk. So why don't so like give your mind something to do? Just start repeating the words that that person is saying and as you say them yourself, mentally, you're going to also feel them better. So it can help you better connect with that person that's saying so. Again, what are little hacks, right? Little things, little trips and things that can help me become a better listener? There's a simple one right. Another one that's how my team just run it back. Run it back. Whatever they told you, whatever you heard, right, run it back. Hey, I heard this, this, this Is that was that accurate. Did I hit them wrong? Run it back. So little things you could do, right. But I would say, become an avid listener and look for ways to up as a leader. Right, how can I level up my listening game? How can I show my team doing a better job of listening? Here's one that I'm doing right now is I put my zoom video right, right, as close to my camera as possible, because when I communicate with my team, I want to be able to make it seem as I'm looking them in their eye right, eye contact, body language, right. If I'm listening to you, I want to make sure I'm giving you my foot, my body is straight, I'm not distracted, I'm not looking down, I'm not on my phone listening. How can I level up my listening? So I just gave you this minute. I gave you three things. You could do four things you could do to listen better. So I want you to try those and tell me. Tell me what happens. You have to love that.

Speaker 2:

That's so good, that's so practical. I think everybody listening can put this into practice immediately. You've learned so many things in your journey as an entrepreneur, and so many. I mean, I hit some of the high points in the intro, but the lessons you've learned have been significant and now you pass those on when you speak and teach others. If you were to think back over your entrepreneurial journey so far, what would you say is the most important thing you've learned?

Speaker 3:

I think that no success in business could make up for being a failure at home, and I think that's such a. You know, I say that lesson and I say that because I come across entrepreneurs that have given me words of wisdom, words of pain, of pain. I felt the pain. I said okay, when you feel, when someone gives you something, you got to share it. Hey, don't go, listen to this guy. I heard his pain. You don't want that pain. It's the pain of someone that sacrificed so much that, in the end, they sacrificed all that matter In the end, and it was something that they thought that mattered and it didn't really matter. It didn't really matter. So think about that as you're building your business. Right. How can I build my business without losing those things that really matter at the end of the day? You know, businesses come and go, but your health may not, your mental health may not, your kids, those precious moments may not come back, your spouse may not come back, right, these are the things that truly matter at the end of the day. So I think that's like the ultimate lesson is you know, don't get caught up in the entrepreneur. You know, give it all a grind culture where you know it wears you out, it, you know, crushes you. And I think that's an important lesson, that balance thrive and it doesn't mean that you don't make sacrifices. Right, you know you could be in the middle of that season where you got to put in the work and that may mean, you know, having to work those extra hours finding, you know, pulling from activities made to devote to your business. You'll know, right, you'll know, when you're on that edge of things are starting to fall apart, correct it, correct it. You know, don't make those mistakes that later on you may regret.

Speaker 2:

You know, like you, I've watched too many entrepreneurs sacrifice their, their spouse and their kids on the altar of their business Right, and it's always with the phrase well, you know, I'll make it up one day. I'll make it up later. The problem, the problem is that you don't get those minutes back. You don't get those days, those weeks back. You know, one day somebody else is going to sit in the chair you sit in at work, somebody else is going to do what you do. Then what, then what? I want the people who are closest to me, I want those relationships to be prioritized so that the people closest to me are the ones who know me best and respect me the most because of the integrity of my priorities with my relationships. That's what I hear you talking about and I hope everybody listen, hears the heart behind that, because I think for both of us we have watched people wreck their lives, wreck their relationships in the pursuit of success with their business.

Speaker 3:

And Dr William, it's gonna be hard, it's gonna be difficult. I'm not perfect at it. I make mind sleep all the time. It's a matter of the mindset right, bouncing back, moving from it, continuing to push right and creating at that future, knowing that you have control of your future by the decisions that you make, the disciplines that you create, the habits that you create that later create you. So it'd be intentional about those things and start working towards it. And there's hope. No matter how lost you think things are, you could turn it around in your family. You could turn it around with your spouse. It's not over. It's not over. There's still hope. So, for anyone that's listening, just take, do what you need to do. There's still a chance. All right if you really wanna go after it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, if you do a lot of work in the agency owner space right like I do, and I know you have a really neat perspective on trends in the digital marketing arena, can you talk a little bit about that, like, what are some of the trends that you see shaping where we're going?

Speaker 3:

Man. So right now AI, ai, ai, oh baby.

Speaker 2:

AI. Have you heard of this? You know, I heard something about it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, ai, like I was saying, ai, that's the trend man, like the rule of everyone's on it. Everything that you see is AI power. Right, like it's gonna be just a matter of time we're gonna have AI power TVs, ai powered cars, ai powered toothbrushes like who knows, that's literally the way. But honestly, it is actually having a huge impact in the marketing space. Like we're finding ways to do our job a lot better, right and faster, right. Here's an example last night I was working on a campaign up that on LinkedIn that normally would take me hours to do just research meticulous research and homework that I would have to do coming through profiles and digging up keywords with the use of chat GPT and creating these robots within chat GPT, I can now have this work these take me hours before now done within minutes. So it's a huge time savings. So I'm trying to figure out okay, how can I optimize AI? I'm sure every agency on there it's exactly what they're working on is how can I figure out how to utilize AI in my agency as a way to help me with my process, as a way of me helping my clients better. But that's where the focus is at and marketing is always kind of the early adopter, so they're always taking it on. But now I'm seeing AI kind of bleed on into other things, right, like AI in sales, ai in accounting, ai in finance, ai for doctors who knows? Ai for other industries right. But I think marketing is definitely leading the way with everything AI right now, so that's the hottest trend.

Speaker 2:

You know there's some fear. I think that comes along with a new trend like that, and I talked to a lot of agency owners who are exhibiting more than a little fear about what this could mean for what they do a year from now or five years from now. Do you think that fear is well placed?

Speaker 3:

Well, you could expect that with any type of new innovation that comes around, there will always be some type of fear, right? Whether the computer first came around, there was that fear. When the internet first came out, when social media first came out, and what happened? We had to adapt. We just had to figure out a way to you know and integrate that into our lives, and that's just exactly what's happening now. Right, you could either be fearful or figure out okay, well, I'm not going to be able to really stop this change from happening, it's going to happen, it's inevitable. But what will I do? How will I react? What's my plan? Right, so that it may mean for those that are in fear, it may mean hey, that means that I'm fearful because my skill set could be replaced by this AI. So guess what I could do? I could upgrade my skill set to there you go, skill set that AI should do. You know AI can't interview like you do after William. Ai can't interview. I hope not. Yeah, a few years we may be. You know that's right.

Speaker 2:

I got to keep up with my game. That's right, but that's a fun part.

Speaker 3:

That's what I really love marketing, because it's always changing, right. It's never boring Like it's. It's evolved so much just in my lifetime and you know it's it's, it's an inception, right, like just all the evolution it's gone through. That's good. I love that about my fear and yeah but that's definitely something that people are scared of. Ai Like just again. My advice to those that are fearful is figure out why, address that fear and then adapt right Pivot, right Retrain. You know whatever you need to do so you could become. You know, deal with that right You're going to have to do. Don't be consumed by the fear.

Speaker 2:

That's fantastic advice and I want to. I want to take that. I want to turn that just a little bit and right at you now. You know your company needs you to be a better leader today than it did five years ago, and a year from now, or five years from now, your company's going to need you to lead at a higher level. What are you doing to up level your skills, to stay on top of your game as a leader?

Speaker 3:

So one of the main things that I'm doing that was my intention and my goal for this year is to surround myself with people that are smarter than me, that are more successful than me, that are richer than me, that are better look. Well, they don't have to be better looking than me. I'm pretty good looking. I'm harder than I am, but you know what I mean. I'm just you know I'm trying to get in the right circles, right in the right room, because that's what I realize over time, you know, is getting you to that next level of success. Because you're around people that have done it, that, like I said earlier, that know the way and they've gone the way and they're very eager to show the way. A lot of these successful people you'd be I was pretty surprised by it that they're very generous with their time. If they feel like someone's listening and paying attention, actually implementing the things that they're showing those people, they'll be more than willing to share their secrets and share how they got to. So I'm trying to get in those rooms right. I'm trying to level up my leadership by being around people that are inspiring me to be a better leader, that are showing me things that I can be doing blind spots that I may have in my leadership that being around a better leader than myself, right, I'm able to be exposed to that, right. So I think that's one of the main things that I've been doing. And then the other is just communicating with and learning with. Having more one-on-ones right, like, for example, this podcast, this interview with you, is something that has been my goal this year is to be able to get into conversations with people that are in the field, that are talking to many other leaders, and to learn from them right and see what lessons that they have, because now I'm not just getting wisdom from one leader, I'm getting wisdom from one leader that knows and has had conversations with hundreds of leaders. So our conversation now I'm getting a lot of that wisdom from you, right. So that's been one of my goals to connect with these influencers, these thought leaders, these sensors of connections right, and be able to create a relationship with them that exposes me to their community and exposes me to their network, where I could learn as well as add value and provide some type of value to their community as well.

Speaker 2:

I think that's brilliant, because you're not just thinking about today. You're thinking about five, 10, 20, 30 years from now. That's a legacy perspective, because you're building relationships not just for today. You're building connections not just for today. One of the best things I've ever heard from somebody was when we were talking about networking and I said so what's your biggest lesson from networking? And she said my biggest lesson is I wish I had started 30 years before I did. Wow. That's good, because that tells me that you're not playing the short game. You're not a short game player. Everything I've read and learned about you, jeff, is that you don't play the short game, you're thinking about it.

Speaker 3:

Exactly.

Speaker 2:

And I like to get paid.

Speaker 3:

You know there are really different ways to get paid. I'm not talking about credit or check either, or cash. You could get paid, obviously, in currency, whatever that is. You get paid in skills as an apprentice, potentially, or an intern. You get skills, you learn on the job and that's going to help you be able to provide more value and gain a bigger paycheck. You get paid an experience. If you've been there, there's a compensation for that. If you've been with an IPO and you've been with a team that's won and you've been on an award-winning production, there's value to that. You get paid that way. Then you get paid in connections. In connections, connections are currency. So I'm very focused, as you said, in building social capital, because that's money in the bank for me. I may not see it tangibly right now, but I'm working hard. Every time I meet with you and we have a good interaction, there's a deposit being made. You're depositing in me, I'm depositing in you. That's right. I'm making those deposits. I'm building that social capital. So when the time comes and I need to make the withdrawal, there's money in the bank. There's money in the bank. I don't have to worry about over-acting. I don't have to worry about even checking to see if I have enough to cover my bills. I can ask for that favor, I can ask for that help. No one's going to bat an eye and say why am I? No, jeff? Yeah, for sure. What do you need? They pick up the phone. They're applying to that email. That's what I want. That's social capital. I've been building that over years, over years. I've been making those deposits. Every time I like, every time I comment, every time I message somebody, every time I add value in some way, every time I give it someone a compliment or a smile. That's social capital. It's built over time, over time, over time. But here's what happens. Here's what many people do is that they don't deposit, they don't make deposits, they don't make deposits and they're quick to withdraw. And then they wonder why things aren't happening. Their check is bouncing, their card is declined, they have nothing at their register because they have no deposits made. They're quick to withdraw. So you want to be that leader that's constantly making deposits around you to the ones that matter and even the ones that don't matter, because they matter to somebody. So make that deposit, make that deposit selfishly, give, give, and then you will be returned to you and multiplied.

Speaker 2:

Such a good challenge, man. Such a good challenge, I think, for everybody listening, because we so often focus on what we can't do, and I think what your challenge in us is to say start where you are, start with what you can do. Anybody can make a deposit in somebody else. One of the things I love about our conversations is when we do talk, I walk away having learned something I did not know before, and that's something that you deposit into me and that doesn't cost you anything but a little bit of time. Right, and you make that investment again and again and again in so many other people's lives that every person listening can do the same thing.

Speaker 3:

And let me give you a piggyback to that, in addition to that. So not only can you show something that will help someone gain knowledge, right? Like Dr William, I shared a piece of insight. He gained knowledge. He shared a piece of insight with me. I gained knowledge. And in a while, people forget what you said. Yes, like they don't forget how you make them feel so true, make them feel a certain type of way, make them feel energized, make them feel excited, make them feel good, make them feel inspired. They're going to remember that feeling. That's right. They're going to need that. So when they talk to you, they're ready for that. Right, and that's a kind of charismatic magnetism that you can build as an amazing leader that is looking out for others, that is constantly on the lookout to make those deposits.

Speaker 2:

So true, I think, especially in the world we live in today, it's so notable when somebody makes you feel valuable, like you're a valuable person, you're worthy of their time and their investment. It's so notable because it's rare. You want to stand out. You do exactly what Jeff is saying. You want to stand out, you want to make a difference, you make these type of deposits. I love that. Jeff, if you were to go back and talk to yourself when you were 20 years old, know what you know now and you could tell yourself one thing, what would you go back and tell yourself?

Speaker 3:

I would say always continue to work harder on yourself than you do at your job. Okay, because I think early on in my career especially, it was a time where I got very consumed in my job, right in my business and helping someone grow their business that I didn't really upkeep my personal work, that I kind of forgot about myself posting stuff up for myself, creating my own thought leadership, and Jeff Zalaya kind of got left back a little bit. So I would say, if my words of wisdom to my younger self would like, don't let that happen. Like continue to do that right. And I feel like I'm doing it now again, like starting to do that. And I've had other success. Everything's happened for a reason, but I think if I would have continued that it would have helped me even more. But I think that's good advice for anyone that's starting to build their personal brand, just to be consistent over time. Don't let things sidetrack you because no matter what, you go with yourself everywhere, that's right. If your business may close down your job and you get laid off or fired or get another job, but your name, right, that's gonna always be with you so it can keep you missing in that building your brand, having your own website, having your podcasts, creating content right, just being cognizant to always make investments in developing yourself as a personal brand.

Speaker 2:

Hmm, that's great advice. You're a continual learner, jeff. You are constantly learning and growing, and this is a priority, and you've alluded to that a number of times on the show already. I'm curious, is there? A book that has made a big difference in your journey, one that you would recommend that every leader listen and put on their to read list if they haven't read it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, so I got one right here. I got two actually, so I got one that is kind of like the basic, like everyone, everyone and anyone should listen to this or hear this or read this, right, but it's how to win friends and influence people by the Elkhartnee. So this is like a classic. This is like the first book that my mentor gave me and said, hey, you gotta read this if you wanna be on my team. And that was my homework and I had to read it, take notes, little book study and that really kind of shaped a lot of my leadership, got me focused around that mindset, just kind of the growth mindset and learning and developing and the more kind of later on in my career when I focus more on sales and business development. This book is really special. I encourage this one, especially if you're in sales and doing like a consulting type of sales or high ticket type of sales. It's called the trusted advisor Trusted advisor by David Meister and it's just really great in terms of like how do you become a trusted advisor? Because that's what you wanna be seen as in the eyes of the prospect. You don't wanna be seen as just a sales consultant. No, you wanna be more than that. You wanna be a trusted advisor, someone that they could count on to give them the best advice, whether it's whatever it is. Your craft is right, the financial or marketing in my case right, but I want to be and here's just a quick summary right. We talked earlier about leadership, or listening, how that's such an important part of leadership listening. So here's what great listeners don't do. Okay, what great listeners don't do they don't interrupt, they don't respond too soon, they don't try to match the client's point, they don't jump to conclusions, they don't ask closing the questions for no reason, they don't give you ideas before hearing yours, they don't judge you, they don't try to solve your problem too quickly and they don't take calls or have interruptions in the course of the meeting. There's just a couple of notes that I wrote here in one of the chapters in this book, but really I highly recommend it. It's called the Trust in Advising.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's so good. I've not read that one. Now I have to check it out.

Speaker 3:

Man, you got so many. I got to hear some of your words, Dr Willi.

Speaker 2:

I love that man. That's awesome. You know how to win friends and influence people was one of my first in this sphere as well, and I can't recommend that one highly enough. Now I'm all excited about the trusted advisory. Thank you for that Welcome. You know, typically, jeff, people are going to walk away from an episode like this with one big idea, one thing that's stuck in their head. If you could define what you want that one big idea to be that people walk away from you what would you want that to be?

Speaker 3:

I would say, to define your family values and your business values and to ask yourself am I living by those values? Good, just a simple, you know big idea, and I know that's helping. Like I always thought about values for business, there was a lot about having values as a family. So one day I took my kids and my wife and we all wrote down kind of what we thought our values were, or family values were, and we looked at each other and the ones that were overlapping. We agree those would be the family values and we created those for our family and something that you could do as a family, as a business, right. But just think about what are those values? And then are we living by them? And then trying to catch people living by those values, encouraging those values and if they're not you're right addressing that right. Why aren't we living by those values? What's the gap? Why is that happening?

Speaker 2:

I love the intentionality there so powerful, Jeff. I know people are going to want to stay connected with you and continue to learn from you. What is the best way for them to do that?

Speaker 3:

The number one best way to reach me is to LinkedIn, so I am very active on LinkedIn. I'm one of the most recommended people on LinkedIn. I have over 160 recommendations on LinkedIn, over 20,000 connections Again, very active. So you could find me there at Jeff's Alaya. Just look me up. I'll pop up and send me an invite, a request, and I'll be happy to accept your connection. And if you need anything, go for it or reach out. You can message me. I respond to those directly. What would love to hear from you there. But you can also follow me on Instagram. I love Instagram too. I share a lot of my personal stuff there and I think that's important. If you're going to do business with someone you want to know at least myself, I want to make sure, I want to like them. I want to like them, know them, trust them. So I think that's an aspect of what I use Instagram for just to share more about myself, my story, my family and that side of Jeff. So feel free to follow me there at Jeff's Alaya, but I look forward to seeing you guys and connecting with you and Dr William. Thank you so much for this opportunity. You are an amazing man. I appreciate every single one of our conversations. You know you have so much influence in our space. When it comes to digital agencies, I see you working on coaching and developing programs that are helping people break through and having high levels of success, not just in their business but in their family. So I really commend you for all the great work that you're doing to make a difference in people's lives, and I appreciate that I'm inspired by it. So, and thank you for this opportunity to be on your show today.

Speaker 2:

Well, Jeff, I appreciate that means a lot, and I appreciate our conversations too. You always challenge me and make me think new thoughts, and I can't think of a better compliment than that. 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. 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.

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