John Eades Show Notes Page
John Eades did not feel excited about his work anymore. Having a passion for professional development, he started his own learning technology company, but failed when his leadership weaknesses were exposed. Despite his failure, he transitioned his business to focus less on technology and more on elevating others to success. Now, John Eades leads a company that develops leaders and creates healthier places to work.
John Eades was born in Atlanta, Georgia. John is the middle of three boys: his older brother Michael is a Catholic Priest in Toronto and his younger brother David lives in Charlotte, NC.
When John was just three years old, his family moved from Atlanta to Charlotte so his father could open a sales performance improvement company which eventually became Sales Performance International.
John attended the University of Maryland on a golf scholarship and spent three years after college playing professional golf all over the world. After meeting his wife and deciding to hang it up, he went to work for Sales Performance International rather begrudgingly. It was there during this time that he found his passion for professional development.
When John left the firm to start a learning technology company, his leadership weaknesses were exposed. Through his failure, he transitioned the LearnLoft business to focus less on technology and instead to help professionals become leaders and create healthier places to work.
John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Leadership with his blogs and videos, reaching over 7 million people last year. He is the author of the new book, Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success, and he is also the host of the Follow My Lead Podcast, which has been downloaded over 500,000 times.
John hopes that the lives of those who come into contact with him are elevated because of their interactions.
John still resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with Amy, his wife of nine years. Together, they have two kids, John Ellis (7) and Lucy (5). They have had four consecutive miscarriages, but aren’t ruling out more children. In his spare time, he stays involved with the Special Olympics.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“The very best leaders understand that the key to effective leadership today is to elevate others.” – Click to Tweet
“Love is to contribute to someone’s long term success and well-being.” – Click to Tweet
“Discipline is to promote standards in order for an individual to choose to be at their best.” – Click to Tweet
“Leaders can’t choose for other people. When someone performs at their very best, it’s a choice that they make.” – Click to Tweet
“Leadership is exceptionally difficult, but it is worth it.” – Click to Tweet
“Leadership is a journey, not a destination.” – Click to Tweet
“A leader is someone whose actions inspire, empower, and serve in order to elevate others.” – Click to Tweet
“The better the relationships are, the better the accountability and coaching.” – Click to Tweet
“Without relationships, you can’t lead.” – Click to Tweet
“Trust = consistency + time.” – Click to Tweet
“If you fail at character, you fail at leadership.” – Click to Tweet
“Building relationships is not a speed thing, it is a time thing.” – Click to Tweet
“We can’t control the events in our life, but we can control our response to it.” – Click to Tweet
“You don’t determine your opportunities; you determine your readiness.” – Click to Tweet
“We all need a voice of encouragement in our life.” – Click to Tweet
“Galatians 6:9, KJV: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Click to Tweet
“The most faithful win.” – Click to Tweet
“Courage is being frightened and deciding to do it anyways.” – Click to Tweet
“We’re all going to hit difficult moments in our life. You got to get back up and go after it the next day.” – Click to Tweet
“Don’t let the dark moments hold you back from living out what you’re supposed to be doing in life.” – Click to Tweet
“If not you, then who? If I don’t serve, if I don’t help, who’s going to do it?” – Click to Tweet
“We’ve got to find joy in the journey and not in the end result.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s the journey that we go through every day that we find the gold in what we do.“ – Click to Tweet
“The outcome is not guaranteed. The only thing guaranteed is the struggle.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
John Eades did not feel excited about his work. Having a passion for professional development, he started his own learning technology company, but failed when his leadership weaknesses were exposed. Despite his failure, he transitioned his business to focus less on technology and more on elevating others to success. Now, John Eades leads a company that develops leaders and creates healthier places to work.
Advice for others
Don’t settle for something that you don’t get excited about doing every single day.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
Best Leadership Advice
You’re right where you’re supposed to be, keep going.
Secret to Success
Best tools in business or life
The Acts of Accountability model.
Contacting John Eades
Show TranscriptClick to access edited transcript
Jim Rembach (00:00):
Okay. Fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who is close to me in more ways than one. John Eades was [inaudible]
Jim Rembach (00:09):
born in Atlanta, Georgia. John is the middle of three boys. I’m the middle of four. Uh, if you can have a middle of four. Uh, his older brother Michael, is a Catholic priest in Toronto and his younger brother David and I have a younger brother, David lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. When John was just three years old, his family moved from Atlanta to Charlotte so his father could open a sales performance improvement company, which eventually became sales performance international. John attended the university of Maryland on a golf scholarship and spent three years after college playing professional golf all over the world. Now that one I didn’t do, John, after meeting his wife and deciding to hang it up, he went to work for sales performance international rather begrudgingly. It was there during this time that he found his passion for professional development. When John left the firm to start a learning technology company, his leadership weaknesses were exposed through his failure.
Jim Rembach (01:04):
He transitioned the learn loft business to focus less on technology and instead to help professionals become leaders and create healthier places to work. John Eades is the CEO of learn loft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. He was named one of LinkedIn’s top voices in management and leadership with his blogs and videos reaching over 7 million people last year. He is the author of the new book building the best eight proven leadership principles to elevate others to success and he is also the host of the follow my lead podcast, which has been downloaded over 500,000 times. John hopes that the lives of those who come into contact with him are elevated because of their interactions. John still lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with Amy, his wife of nine years together. They have two kids, John Ellison, loosely Lucy. They have had four consecutive miscarriages but aren’t ruling out more children in his spare time. He stays involved with the special Olympics. John Eades, are you ready to help us get over the hump? Well, let’s do it now. I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?
John Eades (02:17):
I’m obsessed right now with um, human performance and people in difficult times in their life or parts of their career and helping them get through that hump to get [inaudible] to the other side. And it almost never ends, which is the ironic part about life because right when you feel like you get out of something, another phase starts, but I’m starting to realize both in the professional world is as well as in the personal world is, you know what? We all have things going on in our life, whether we, whether we know it or not. And so to help people through those valleys, whether it be with leadership skills or whether it be with a high score that’s really struggling to feel like they belong, I’ve just become really obsessive about helping people through those valleys, getting them the peaks, but knowing that those peaks won’t last.
Jim Rembach (03:04):
I think that’s a really good point. And you talk about the long game in the book, you also talk about something repeatedly throughout the book and you refer to it as elevating others. What does, what does that really mean to you? Well, as you so clearly depicted my own leadership failure, I thought I had this magical DNA. I thought I was born to be some kind of leader. And then when I actually got the opportunity to lead a team, I failed miserably. One of my teammates, when I let her go, she looked at me right in the eyes and she said, John, I didn’t know where we were going. I didn’t know what we were doing. And I certainly didn’t know how it’s helping us get there and is anybody that’s ever sat in that chair. And I had to let someone go and then you expose the problem, not them.
John Eades (03:49):
But the problem is you, it’s a tough thing to deal with. And uh, I, I knew at that moment what I was kind of born to do. And so I tell you all that because at the time I didn’t know what the best leaders did. I didn’t know how I could help someone else lead better cause I had to solve my own problem. And through now 40,000 assessments of organizational leaders and interviews of hundreds and hundreds of the very best leaders we could find. What we’ve uncovered is that the very best leaders understand that the key to effective leadership today is to elevate others. Now I know that sounds simple, but when you start to think about elevating others, can you elevate others through your actions? Can you, that doesn’t mean only being soft, in fact, it means that you’ve always gotta be thinking in your mind.
John Eades (04:37):
And then following up that with your actions of how can I elevate that person and the way that I interact with them and the way that I speak about them, whatever it might be. And, and leaders who do that are the ones that separate themselves and they’re ones that are get remembered the most and impact the most lives. And that’s why it’s so important today. Well, and when you start talking about the elevating of others, so you really focus in on two things from the start and you continue to build on that and you talk about love and discipline. But wait a minute, what love and the work, John, I mean, what, what are your really meaning there? Yeah, it’s a great question. I’m not talking about any kind of HR violation. Okay. Um, well, what we studied was that we found in these leaders that really elevate other people is that they were leveraging these two things at high levels in the way that they lead every single day.
John Eades (05:28):
Now I do think it’s important we define these terms because love is to contribute to someone’s longterm success and wellbeing. It’s a verb. Can, can you contribute to someone’s long term success and wellbeing, um, to will the good of another if you will. And then discipline on the other hand, often just as misunderstood, which what it really means is to promote standards in order for an individual to choose to at their best leaders can’t actually choose for other people. We think we can because of our authority or our power. Um, but in, in fact, when, when someone’s going to go perform at their very best, it’s a choice that they make. And so what leaders can do is set really high standards about what’s expected in their family, on their team, whatever it might be, and then encourage and coach people to make those choices the very best that they can. If they choose not to. Yes, then we go have some accountability, whatever those accountability things are. But the point here is, is that leaders that do those two things that really high levels are, are what we would consider the elevate style of leadership.
Jim Rembach (06:38):
Well, and I think, okay, so you talk about style and you break those down in a couple of different ways, but when you start looking at the people who can do both, you, you call them those that elevate. Now there are other four other styles that you actually mentioned in the book. Um, and that is that you manage, you rule, you please, you support. And then of course that final one being elevate. So when you start talking about all of these different assessments and this data that you’ve been able to capture, you, you do it through actually measuring this love and discipline. And so when you start talking about populating that in into the leadership styles, where do you find that most people really fall? [inaudible]
John Eades (07:21):
the majority of leaders, about 47% of all the leaders that we’ve studied fall into that manage style of leadership, which is they use love and discipline in the way that they weed. They just don’t use it at high enough levels or consistent enough. So at times they might use way more love than they’re supposed to, or at times they might use way more discipline than they’re supposed to. And, and those leaders that really are in that elevate style leadership find a way to use them both on an ongoing basis and at and at both, at all points. And, uh, and it doesn’t mean it’s easy though. I mean, if every, if it was easy, everybody would do it exceptionally well. Leadership in leading like this is hard. It is, it is. It is exceptionally difficult. But it’s worth it. And here’s the kicker. These five styles are not meant to put anybody in a box.
John Eades (08:13):
It’s not a personality profile because we know leadership is a journey and not a destination. So if you’re a in the manage style leadership today, you can grow and you can get better and you can get to that elevate style of leadership. And that is so important for leaders to understand because the last thing we want to do or we want anyone to feel like is that I’m not good enough. You are right where you are supposed to be and you are good enough. It just means you’ve got to take your own development and the way that you eat other people a little bit more seriously and put in a little or maybe a lot more work depending on where you are,
Jim Rembach (08:53):
you know, as you’re talking, I also thinking about, um, my mind went to because I like to do it is cooking. Um, and you started talking about these different ingredients associated with a little bit of love, a little bit of discipline, you know, those types of things. Also start thinking about the person who we’re trying to or you know, focusing in to elevate is that, you know, sometimes they may say, well you know, that’s a little too salty for me. You know, what the, I need a little bit more discipline. You know what? And so even when you start talking about the difficulties there, there’s difficulties from one relationship connection from you know, a mentor, mentee, you know, subordinate, you know, supervisor perspective then to the other hundred percent
John Eades (09:34):
correct. I mean that is the most, that is the hardest part of leadership. You’re, you’re leading humans, you’re not leading computers and everybody is in different places. One in both their development also what’s going on in their personal or professional life, where they came from, what their parents were like. I mean, we all bring so much baggage experience into the workplace or into onto your baseball team. I mean, that’s why leadership is so hard because you’re leading people one-on-one. You might be leading a team of 12 boys or you might be leading a team of 200 employees. But leadership is a one-on-one game. And that’s why this is so important that the foundation of leadership is the relationships that you’ve built and developed with humans. And if you don’t have that, you won’t be able to lead effectively. There’s no doubt about it.
Speaker 4 (10:30):[inaudible]
Jim Rembach (10:30):
also, what I’m hearing from you and I start thinking about when we, we, when we’re dealing with the customer experience, we’re also having to through those frontline folks specifically help them manage and deal with all that with customers because customers come with a whole different set of complexity. Right?
John Eades (10:48):
Jim Rembach (10:48):
So when I start thinking about the work that you’re doing, I mean for me, I focus in on the call center coach, um, you know, Academy on the front line leader in context centers. Where do you find the bulk of your work actually taking place right now?
John Eades (11:01):
John Eades (11:03):
It’s a good question. I mean,
John Eades (11:07):
this particular book, our work entirely is to help individuals live out the definition of leadership that we’ve come up with from all of our work and interviews, which, and I’ll go into that and it’ll help me weed to your answer. To answer your question. Um, there are a lot of definitions of leadership out there and, and we know that if you go Google it, there’s 30,000 different ones. Um, and the reason why is because so many great leaders wanting to pass on the lessons that they learned to others because that’s what good leaders do. They’re trying to elevate others. And so from all of our interviews, we thought it was important that we had some common definition of what it meant to be a leader. And I’m going to share it with you and your audience, which is someone whose actions inspire, empower and serve in order to elevate others and people as a people in positions of leadership.
John Eades (11:59):
We add onto that over an extended period of time because we don’t just want to lead people well for the short term, we want to lead them well for the longterm. So to answer your question, where are we, where our work focuses today, it’s anybody who can go live out that definition of leadership that can happen in a brand new employee that wants to lead right where they are in the way that they interact with their teammates or customers. The bulk of our work is in people have positions of leadership that they’re going to go improve the performance of their team. But overarchingly I don’t think there’s a patent on living out that definition of leadership for anybody.
Jim Rembach (12:38):
Well that’s very helpful now, but as par part of the framework and in order to be able to, you know, really have this elevation of others to, to take place and to be enabled. You talk about eight principles. Yup. And those eight principles, I’ll just read through them real quick. Um, and then I’d like you to actually help us understand, um, magnitude and importance. Okay. So I have love and discipline. Strong relationships. Culture starts with you. People preserve, persevere because of purpose. Goals aren’t achieved without priorities. Lower your standards and performance erodes make accountability your obligation. And then coaching unlocks potential. So going back to you, John, is that when I start thinking about these eight, some have greater weight than others, which ones stand out for you?
John Eades (13:32):
This is the the hardest part for most leaders because they want to jump right to accountability and coaching because they think that’s what unlocks performance. And it does. Having said that, we every leader must constantly be reflecting about the quality of their relationships because the better the relationships are, the more trust that are in those relationships. Gym, the better the accountability conversations will go and the better the coaching will go because the people that you’re holding accountable or coaching will know that you’re doing it because you care about them. When you go have these difficult conversations or what we would call a disapproval dialogue with someone that you’re not in good relationship with, the immediate reaction is going to be what they defensive. That’s exactly right. But when that in your world, that player or that person in the call center, when they know that their boss truly cares about them and that they trust them, those relationships and those conversations are drastically different. Drastically different. And so the first thing that we need to focus on, if I had to put one more than other, it would be the second one, which is without relationships you can’t wait. And so we, we, the, the part that we like to focus on there is trust. I mean, no relationship, your marriage, my marriage, my relationship with my team, the people in call centers, if there’s not trust there, there is no relationship. All trust is, is consistency plus time.
Speaker 4 (15:14):[inaudible]
John Eades (15:15):
can you be consistent day in and day out with your people? And that will build trust the way that your team then goes and evaluates how trustworthy you are or what that bond of mutual trust looks like is you sharing three things. One, your competence, how competent you are in the work that you do in the industry that you’re in, whatever it might be to how much you care about them. And three, and maybe most important is what your character is. A one of my favorite leaders in the books had something so beautiful. He said, if you fail at character, you fail at leadership. So good. Cause it’s so true. Um, so if we’re gonna go build trust with our people, if we’re going to go build better relationships on a one on one basis, leaders have to be consistent over time and they have to be sharing their competence, showing they care and most importantly they have to expose their real
Jim Rembach (16:14):
character. Well, and as you’re talking, I’m seeing how this all translates into a customer experience as well. I mean, you know, the whole relationship building component, you know, it doesn’t happen with one interaction. It happens with multiple touches. If we actually recover appropriately and they can see that we are competent and we can resolve, I mean it’s going to give us the opportunity to, you know, have a, you know, grace be extended. And I mean all of these things are, they’re really, you know, it’s the inside that affects the outside and it has to be a symbiotic, uh, overall system that takes place. And I think you probably have a lot of data that is also revealing that to be truths.
John Eades (16:59):
That’s exactly right. And I would go one step further. When you start talking about relationships. A mentor of mine always says, kids spell love T I. M. E. so true. And we’re in business, a fast paced call center environment. We are in an, we’re in an effective net. We’re in an absolute effectiveness versus efficiency mindset. We have to figure out is this a speed game? Are we trying to get as many calls as we can in that day? Because we know that improves the bottom line. But when you’re talking about building relationships, it can’t be a speed thing. It cannot be a speed thing. It is a time thing. Are you willing to put in the time with that person? Does it mean you have to be on a phone call with someone for 10 hours? Absolutely not. I do love this story about um, about, uh, the shoe company, Zappa shoe company, me and how long you were able to spend the time, but people know whether you’re rushing them out or you’re not paying attention. And that absolutely affects the trust that you’ve built with them. And so I think that mindset is very important for leaders to evaluate. When I’m looking at the relationship with my people, am I just trying to be as efficient as I possibly can be with my time or am I trying to be effective because there are different things?
Jim Rembach (18:21):
Well, I think from my perspective, um, that is a significant challenge that people have outside of the context center is the whole time speed, the speed, the speed thing, the uh, overall burden, you know, a, um, you know, I had 10 things that I was supposed to do and now today that’s, you know, yesterday and now it’s 20 cause I, something happened and it just continues to compound itself. So, but in the book there’s many things that you refer to. Um, that for me are quite enlightening and one of them is E plus R equals O. What does that mean?
John Eades (18:58):
Great question. Um, and this is not a Johnny needs thing or a learn law thing. This has been around for centuries. Um, I mean literally, um, pre Jesus Christ kind of stuff here. But I first learned about it, um, I was reading a book called man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl. And, and for those of your audience who aren’t familiar, Viktor Frankl is a Holocaust survivor. And he wrote extensively about his experience in the Holocaust and how, what his search for meaning look like in such a difficult environment. And he would tell these stories about, um, people in the Holocaust that would, um, set their sights on the day that the Holocaust was gonna end. And then the minute that that day came and went and it didn’t end, they died. I mean, I know that’s extreme stuff, but because they’re what they pictured in their mind and when it didn’t happen, everything fell apart.
John Eades (19:54):
And then I learned about this through, um, uh, a fantastic book called above the line, which is a, which was written by the former head coach at Ohio state. Um, and right after they won the national championship in 2014 and I just loved it. And he wrote about this thing called E plus R equals O, which stands for event plus response equals outcome. And again, this is not just an urban Meyer thing. This has been around for a while, but, but it’s a, it’s a very powerful concept to carry with us in our daily lives. And the whole prospect behind it is that we control very little of the events in our life. But what we do control is the way we respond to those events, the best we can. And the better we get at responding to those events, the better the outcomes will be.
John Eades (20:43):
So simple, so difficult to master. And the more I’ve I’ve worked to master at myself and the more we’ve taught of it, the more I, I’ve even expanded this is to say it’s not just about the events that you can’t control, it is about the response that you have, but, but then there’s a second art that becomes really important, which is how ready you are for the opportunities that come your way. Uh, one of my favorite quotes is from Mark Miller, who’s with Chick-fil-A and it’s something to this effect, but he says, you don’t determine your opportunities, you determine your readiness. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, I can’t [inaudible] how you respond to events and how ready you are. Those two ares to me are just so powerful in our lives because so many of us are so get so worked up about these events that we have no control over. We get so worked up about these opportunities that we don’t get. But what you can control is how ready you are when those things come into your life. And if you’re doing all the right things, you’re going to get opportunities and you’ve just got to be ready to take advantage of them because you might only get one of them.
Jim Rembach (21:52):
Well, and as you’re saying that, I also think about, um, the findings in regards to people that respond better. Um, we’re talking about the whole self reflection component is that the vast majority of us do that incorrectly. And we start asking the questions of why and what we should be asking is the question of what. And we need to change our mindset. And you talk about mindsets in the book. So when you start talking about mindset and and having that to be able to fuel your ability to elevate others, what kind of mindset are you referring to? [inaudible]
John Eades (22:28):
well, there’s been some fantastic work done by Carol Dweck around the growth mindset, but, but, and, and, and there’s stuff in the book about that. I would highly recommend your audience go to go read that book. Really, really great stuff. The difference in fix first growth mindset, but, but I would to simplify it for your audience today, which is this thing we have between our ears is the most powerful thing we have. It is capable of so much because when you believe something, when you, when you get this thing moving in the right direction and growing and developing, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve or your team’s achieved when you have this thing in growth mode. And I like to think as a golfer, I like to think of it a little bit like grass. You’re in Greensboro, you know, Bermuda grass in the wintertime dies.
John Eades (23:15):
It’s gray, it’s Brown in the spring and the summer and the fall. It’s green because it’s still growing. It’s got heat, it’s got warmth behind. It grows like a weed. Our brains work exactly the same way. There’s a little trick we like to use called the, it’s called the growth 20 and all it means is that can you find 20 minutes a day to ensure that this thing is growing and not dying? Can you get 20 minutes listening to this podcast on the way to work? Can you get 20 minutes instead of watching TV at night, reading a book, whatever you can do to make sure this thing is growing and not dying and vegging out in front of the TV. I want 20 minutes of that a day and I promise just that little habit in your life, it will change the trajectory of your career.
Jim Rembach (24:07):