page title icon Relationship is the differentiator today

John DiJulius Podcast Notes

John DiJulius, III looked back on mistakes and regrets and found a pattern. He’s always been the underdog, and when he takes that chip off his shoulder and feels he deserves the recognition he’s received; he ends up in a bad place.

John was born and raised on the East side of Cleveland, OH. He is the youngest of 6 kids. His father left his mother when he was only 6 years old. They never saw him again. They were a middle-class family that went to being on welfare overnight.

In school, John was labeled as ADD and ADHD. It was requested that he repeat grades 1-8, although he never did. He graduated High School dead last and flunked out of college. Through it all, John gives the credit to his success to his mom. She always believed in him no matter who called; teachers, principals, or the Police).

Eventually, John made his way back to college and graduated with a marketing degree after 7 long years. Then he drove a truck for UPS, made decent money, met his wife and they opened a small hair salon in 1993, 4 chairs 900 square feet.

Between her technical brilliance and his customer service concept the salon grew extremely rapidly, expanding and opening multiple locations throughout northeast Ohio (suburbs of Cleveland). As a result of the growth and world-class customer service reputation, organizations started asking John to speak.

His speaking career grew and he eventually wrote his first book Secret Service in 2003, which completely took him out of the salon business and full-time with The DiJulius Group. Today he still owns the salons but is not in the day-to-day operations. He also owns Believe in Dreams, a non-profit charity helping make the dreams come true for deserving children

John R DiJulius, III is the authority on World-Class customer experience. He is an international consultant, keynote speaker, and best-selling author of five customer service books. His newest book, The Relationship Economy – Building Stronger Customer Connections in The Digital Age (Greenleaf Books October 2019) could not be timelier in the world we are living in. John has worked with companies such as The Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Nestlé, Marriott Hotels, PwC, Celebrity Cruises, Anytime Fitness, Progressive Insurance, Harley-Davidson, Chick-fil-A, and many more.

John currently resides in Aurora, OH. He is a widower with 3 amazing boys. Johnni (27), Cal (22) and Bo (17).

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @JohnDiJulius to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Today’s illiterate are those who have an inability to make a meaningful connection with others.” – Click to Tweet

“We’re all living in the touch screen age, and it has reduced all of our people skills.” – Click to Tweet

“Technology has brought us incredible advances at a significant cost; human relationships.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s ironic that good old-fashioned relationship is the differentiator today.” – Click to Tweet

“Technology is not the devil. Using it to eliminate the human experience is.” – Click to Tweet

“Customer-facing employees didn’t grow up staying in 5-star resorts yet they’re expected to give that type of service.” – Click to Tweet

“We always have to make sure we are looking at it from the customer’s vantage point.” – Click to Tweet

“So many employees are conditioned that they have to stick to policy.” – Click to Tweet

“Don’t punish 98% of your customers for the 2% that are trying to take advantage of you.” – Click to Tweet

“You tell one hundred people to go above and beyond, and that’s processed one hundred different ways.” – Click to Tweet

“We are all genetically coded to be preoccupied about ourselves.” – Click to Tweet

“Everyone’s your customer, not just the person on the other end of the phone.” – Click to Tweet

“One of the benefits of social media is you can’t hide if you suck.” – Click to Tweet

“Act as if today’s the day you’ll be remembered for how you treat others.” – Click to Tweet

“How many people have had a better day as a result of coming into contact with you?” – Click to Tweet

“Live an extraordinary life, so countless others do.” – Click to Tweet

“The seeds of potential we don’t fulfill; we just cheated so many people.” – Click to Tweet

“We’re the Walt Disney of our household or our business.” – Click to Tweet

“You’re not able to get to your fullest potential if I’m cheating you.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

John DiJulius, III looked back on mistakes and regrets and found a pattern. He’s always been the underdog, and when he takes that chip off his shoulder and feels he deserves the recognition he’s received; he ends up in a bad place.

Advice for others

Give the gift of attention to others.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Myself. Believing in the people around me and helping them to elevate their games.

Best Leadership Advice

Believe in others.

Secret to Success

Bringing the energy.

Best tools in business or life

The ability to delegate and my to do list.

Recommended Reading

The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age

From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America

Worth Doing Wrong: The Quest to Build a Culture That Rocks

Contacting John DiJulius




Resources and Show Mentions

How to Skip the Small Talk and Connect with Anyone

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript:

Click to access edited transcript

255 John DiJulius

Jim Rembach: (00:00)

Okay. Fast Lear Legion. I’m excited because I have Sony on the show today who has so much depth and understanding into the customer experience that I think the challenge for me is

Jim Rembach: (00:09)

keeping it all sorted out so that you can actually have a great experience as well. John did. Julius was born and raised on the East side of Cleveland, Ohio. He’s the youngest of six kids. His father left his mother when he was only six years old. They never saw them again. They were a middle class family that went to being on welfare overnight in school. John was labeled as add and ADHD. It was requested that he repeat grades one through eight although he never did. He graduated high school dead last and flunked out of college. Through it all, John gives the credit to his of his success to his mom. She always believed in him no matter who called teachers, principals, or the police. Eventually John made his way back to college and graduated with a marketing degree after seven long years. Then he drove a truck for ups, made decent money, met his wife, and they opened a small hair salon in 1993 four chairs and 900 square feet.

Jim Rembach: (01:12)

Between her technical brilliance and his customer service concept, the salon grew extremely rapidly expanding and opening multiple locations throughout Northeast Ohio suburbs of Cleveland. As a result of the growth and world class customer service reputation organizations started asking John to come speak. His speaking career grew and he eventually wrote his first book secret service in 2003 which completely took him out of the salon business and full time with the de Julius group. Today, he owns the salon, but it’s not. He’s not part of the day to day operations. He also owns believe in dreams, a nonprofit charity helping make the dreams come true for deserving children. John R did Julius. The third is the authority on world-class customer experience. He’s an international consultant, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of five customer service books. His newest book, the relationship economy, building stronger customer connections in the digital age. Could not be more timelier for the then no. For the world that we’re living in today. John has worked with companies such as the Ritz Carlton, Lexus, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Nestle, Marriott hotels, PWC, celebrity cruises, anytime, fitness, progressive insurance, Harley Davidson, Chick-fil-A, and many more. John currently resides in Aurora, Ohio. He is a widower with three amazing boys. Johnny cowl and Bo, John Julius. Are you ready to help us get over the hump?

John DiJulius: (02:40)

I am. Let’s do this.

Jim Rembach: (02:41)

John, I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

John DiJulius: (02:50)

Uh, you know, it’s raising my three boys. Uh, you know, making them sure they become a good, good a man and, and good human and a customer service. I love customer service, customer experience. Uh, I’m annoying to people. That’s all I want to talk about. That’s all I want to think about. That’s, that’s, you know, I just, I’m very narrow and deep.

Jim Rembach: (03:12)

Well, you know, narrow. Hmm, I guess you’d say your narrow perception, um, has become significantly wide. And what I mean by that is the customer experience is really a major focus for most organizations today. Even when we start talking about political relationships and races, it’s about constituent experience. So customer experience, I mean it’s all around us. I mean it is what you’re saying. It’s all about the relationships and what we’re doing today. But we have some issues, we have some issues in a lot of different ways, but one of the things you talk about immediately is the touch screen age and its impact. What do you mean by that?

John DiJulius: (03:54)

Well, you know, today’s illiterate or those who have, uh, inability to make a meaningful connection with others. And we’re all living in the touchscreen age and that’s not generational specific, right? We have grandparents on, uh, on Facebook and social media and we have five-year-olds that we’re handing an iPad to and, and you know, that’s their babysitter today and it has reduced all of our people skills. Um, and you know, technology has brought us incredible advances and benefits and conveniences, but it’s coming a significant cost. And that cost is human relationships. It’s, it’s that, you know, uh, drive customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, and just human happiness.

Jim Rembach: (04:37)

Well, unless you’re saying that there are a lot of industry analysts, um, you know, prognosticators forecasters, a lot of people talking about, you know, the machine interaction, the business automation, artificial intelligence and how many of the simple and mundane things are going to be handled by automations. So talking about the touchscreen age, that’s just going to continue to grow. However, the differentiating factor is all that this relationship compete, this piece. So what’s going to be left John?

John DiJulius: (05:09)

Well, it’s ironic that good old fashioned relationship is, is now the differentiator today. I mean, you know, it’s back to the 1960s and you know, that pendulum has swung so far over to high tech, low touch or no touch, um, that, um, we’re, we’re starving to be a name to someone, you know, uh, uh, someone, you know, with, with needs and pain points and desires and all those things. And, you know, technology is not the enemy. Um, it’s not the devil. Um, using it to eliminate the human experience is,

Jim Rembach: (05:44)

I think that’s a really interesting point that you bring up. So then you start talking about what part of the ability to create a relationship is left. And you talk about seven traits for us to really focus in on, in order us to have

John DiJulius: (05:58)

affective interactions with customers. So if you could, let’s walk through those a little bit so people get a better understanding of what we need to not just preserve but also enhance and really use it as a differentiating point. Yeah. And then the whole thing with, with, uh, you know, customer face and employees is they didn’t grow up. I’m staying at, you know, five star resorts, um, all of us, most of us. Um, we didn’t, you know, drive a Mercedes Benz when we turned 16. We didn’t fly first class yet. All of us, when we got our, our, our jobs, first jobs, any job we are expected to give that type of an experience to, to guests, customers, patients consists, ruins, you name it. And it’s unfair. So, you know, there, there, there has to be the part that, that the company understands what they have. They have to dictate what service aptitude, uh, is.

John DiJulius: (06:53)

And, and so those seven traits, compassion and empathy, um, not everyone’s going to come with these things, but most of them can be taught. So, you know, you gotta train for compassion and empathy and, you know, we’re apathetic today because, you know, we’re, we’re rushed. We only have three minutes to, you know, conduct this call. You know, the, the, the, the crazy metrics. Um, you know, and you know, we look at people as next and you know, w you know, hospitals look at people as you know, two Oh one bed B and, and you know, five-thirty haircut and all these things. And we have to make sure that we always are looking at it from the customer’s vantage point, what’s going on, um, engagement and, and warmth. Um, those are things you can absolutely spot an interview with w w with questions. And it’s also stuff that, that, that can, um, be taught.

John DiJulius: (07:43)

And it’s so much of this is taught in, in a great, um, orientation, soft skill training, uh, a drive to serve ownership. And now the ownership one is hard because so many employees are, are conditioned that they, they have to stick to policy. Right. You know, I’m sorry. [inaudible] we had 30 days to bring this back in. Today’s the 31st day, or I’m sorry, I can’t deliver it. Uh, because you’re outside of our one mile radius. Yeah. I know. It’s only, you know, one point, you know, one miles, but you know, our policy says, and then, you know, they get in trouble if they go against policy and that’s hard. And you know, it’s hard for great companies when you hire employees and you’re like, listen, you know, Jim, no, no policy here. You do whatever you think is eh, but they’re still scared because they’ve had their hand slapped by someone in the past that they’re, they’re, they’re so scared.

John DiJulius: (08:36)

Um, charitable assumption. Um, what that means is don’t punish 98% of your customers for what, 2%. You’re afraid to, you know, they’re trying to get taken advantage of you, um, presence that you gotta be present. You gotta be present to win. That. I’m so engaged, I’m with my eyes that, you know, someone could blow a firecracker off and I probably wouldn’t notice because, you know, [inaudible] nothing’s more important than the person I’m taking care of. And you know, the desire to exceed expectations that a lot of that comes from the company to inspire, to celebrate. Let me tell you what Jim did for our client yesterday. He overheard her. He did this, he went out and brushed off the snow of her car and drove it around and walked her out with an umbrella, whatever that may look like. But when you’re constantly celebrating those stories, now I’m, I’m jealous. I’m envious. I have peer pressure to raise my game.

Jim Rembach: (09:28)

Well, as you’re talking through running through those, John, I started thinking about all these competing forces. Uh, and while we talk about the whole touchscreen society and all of those forces, um, I also start thinking about the, the competing forces that an organization, uh, just has to contend with when you start talking about the interactions, you know, speed, you know, customer’s expectation of speed, our ability to deliver, you know, on speed. Um, you know, and like you hit on one of the components is, you know, risk, whether it’s legal risk, whether it’s, you know, inconsistency, risk, you know, these are now exceptions, you know, to our system and there are therefore, you know, we now need more people and I don’t need, I don’t want more people because it’s over. I mean all of these competing forces, the KPIs and the metrics that we look at on a daily basis. You mentioned that as well on a, on a, on an annual basis, the ones we have to report to shareholders. If we’re publicly traded, I start thinking about all these competing forces and then we’re laying the burden on that customer relationship, in the interaction on those people who are, you know, innocently, unknowing and unskilled. I mean, to me that’s a recipe for disaster. How do we prevent those things from occurring? So that on the outcome, you know, we’re delivering those relationship building customer experiences.

John DiJulius: (10:47)

Well the best, uh, companies, uh, customer service are short term focused, right? And they understand that it has to be a long, long term play. And you know, from, from training employees on the soft skill, I love to ask companies this, I’ll say, you know, if you were to hire my son tomorrow to work on or any customer facing position, um, how much training will you give him, uh, before he can start interacting with your customer, your public? And you know, some people say two days, some people will say two weeks, some people will say two months. That’s not the answer I’m looking for. The answer I’m looking for now is okay, of those 48 hours, 400 hours, 4,000 hours, how much of it is operational technical processes and how much is his soft skill, uh, showing empathy and compassion, the traits we just listed, making a brilliant comeback when we dropped the ball.

John DiJulius: (11:40)

Um, you know, those who are building a rapport and in most cases it’s 98% operational processes and way less than 2%. And at 2% sometimes is see that sign in the back. Um, you know, we’re customer first. Yeah, go do that. And you know, you know, you tell 20 people, you tell a hundred people to go above and beyond. That’s, that’s processed a hundred different ways. And so you got to make it black and white, right? And so, you know, if I tell you or anyone they go deliver genuine hospitality, I go and do that ready to go and we all break. Can we all go start content? You know, customer support, customer calls, um, you know, what does genuine hospitality really mean? So, you know, we like to make it specific, right? It’s the fi, it’s the five E’s, it’s, it’s, uh, and it take less than five seconds and, and the first three, take one second.

John DiJulius: (12:34)

You know, it’s enthusiastic. Greet ear to your smile, eye contact, engage them and educate them. Now I can watch you, I can listen to you read an email and say, you know, Jim, you didn’t deliver genuine hospitality. You know, your tone was like they were in an eruption in your day. You weren’t smiling. I couldn’t hear a smile in your voice. You weren’t enthusiastic, you didn’t educate them. I, they did not hang up thinking, man, Jim’s the smartest person I’ve ever met at his job. So, you know, that’s black and white. Well, and in order to be able to deepen that and enrich in that relationship, you even have another, you know, talk about the five E’s, but you also have Ford. Um, and so explain what Ford is. Yeah, I really like $4 clients have really implemented it. Um, I love to ask people, audiences, uh, companies, uh, staff, you know, who here is good at building an instant rapport with a stranger and acquaintance and everyone raises their hand.

John DiJulius: (13:32)

And I say, I don’t believe you. Uh, and I said, you know, you, you might, uh, you know, met someone yesterday at Starbucks or a business meeting at lunch, whatever it may be, and you might have spoke to him for 20 minutes, 30 minutes. But that doesn’t mean you built a rapport. You could have been speaking about yourself for that length of time. And we are all genetically coded to be preoccupied about ourselves. It’s not a slam, but it’s my flight that was delayed. It’s my client that’s threatening to, to, you know, get out of his contract. It’s my son that got in trouble at school today. Right? So in order to fight that, that urge, um, you know, I always say, if you want to prove to me, you know, that you built a relationship with someone would be a three minute conversation, 30 minute conversation.

John DiJulius: (14:16)

You have to be able to tell me two or more things of their Ford. And if you could tell me two or more things in there, Ford, you, you not only built a relationship, you own the relationship because to each and every one of us, our own Ford is our hot buttons. It’s what gets us talking fast. It’s what gets, you know, there’s some things you don’t want to ask me about my Ford unless you have two hours to, you know, listen, because I’m going to, I’m going to go on. And customer service is one of them. So for the F stands for family, right? Are they married? Do they have kids? How old are their kids? Oh, occupation. What’s he do? How long has he been doing it? What’s his title? Um, our recreation. Um, you know, what does she like to do with her or their free time or off time. She might be a yoga instructor. She, she might, you know, run marathons. Um, he might be a little league coach and then D D stands for dream. You know, what’s on their bucket list? What’s their dream vacation, what’s his Encore, you know, career that he’s shooting for.

Jim Rembach: (15:11)

Now, as you’re talking about that, John, I started thinking about how some people would take that purely mechanically and would say, Oh, this is my progression that I need to take. However, I would dare to say, you know, while Ford is a framework, you don’t necessarily do it in that order.

John DiJulius: (15:24)

No, God, no, no. I mean, you know, just like how our conversation started, you know, wherever you’re from and, and you know, and a lot of times people will offer Ford, you know, without you even asking. The problem is if you’re not paying attention to it, it’ll go right over your head. Right. And I’m guilty of this, so, so, so, uh, one of our must is in my company and a lot of our clients have adopted this is we cannot have a conference call with our clients or employees that are virtual that it has to be a zoom. It has to be a video call, right? For exactly list. I see Jimmy is a nice guy and I’m also, you are exposing so much forward to me as I am even, you know, on our walls. And you pick up on that and I’ll be honest, I’ve been guilty.

John DiJulius: (16:11)

Here’s the real reason why I do it is if I’m not on video, I’m not on stage. And what happens is my phone starts blowing up as we’re talking and I look and my son’s asking me if he can do something. I’ve already said no 16 times. So I’m responding and you just told me how you have to go back, you know, to, to uh, you know, your home, your home town because your grandmother passed away. And I’m like, Oh, that’s good, Jim. Chip, good, good, good. And you know, totally not listening, right? So, you know, these are techniques that make sure that we’re building that relationships. And man, this guy is a really nice, and you’re laughing at what I’m saying. So that makes me feel good and vice versa.

Jim Rembach: (16:50)

Well, and for me it’s cause it’s like, Oh gosh. Yeah. I mean I think of those times where I’ve actually done those things and you know, it’s like, okay, I’m sorry, can you say that again? Right. And you, I this, what you just said is exactly one of the things that I’ve instituted and I’ve pretty much every single meeting I have, I’m putting in a zoom link and I want to see people’s face. I want to make that connection. I want to be able to build that rapport. I want to, I mean, because even if it’s just a five minute, you know, you know, connection with the face and all of that, it’s significantly, you know, it’s a value point and it’s a value.

John DiJulius: (17:24)

You got this great smile, Jim, you really do from, from the moment we got on. But if I’m not seeing it and you might not be doing it if it’s over the phone and you know, that smile really resonates and makes me think, man, this guy is really, this is someone who I want to do business with.

Jim Rembach: (17:40)

Well, and I think when we incorporate all of these different things that are associated with, you know, making this, you know, relationship type of connection, these building blocks, uh, and we start doing, um, in a lot of different parts of the organization, that’s our striving the culture. And so you talk about a culture that rocks and you refer to, uh, a RNA wall, a mall, hymns book about a culture that rocks. But there was some particular elements in that that stood out for you. Can you please share those?

John DiJulius: (18:07)

Yeah. Irony. Maul ham is a, he’s built and sold several companies and now he’s a, a bestselling author and he, uh, his book is called the worth doing wrong. And, uh, it, the quest to build a culture that rocks. And, um, he hired us in when we’d come in. I w he hired us. His stuff on his employee experience is just amazing. So, you know, there’s a lot of things, you know, that he’s created. Um, you know, you know, in, in, in, they does it such low hanging fruit. It doesn’t cost a whole lot, but you know, he’s done things like, you know, unrestricted paid time off, um, surprise beer carts, uh, that just shows up at work. He has a better book club where he actually pays his employees to read, um, you know, free postage, uh, that he, he has a dream manager, a program that helps employees accomplish their personal dreams.

John DiJulius: (19:05)

And sometimes, you know, they are, that they don’t want to be here in a year from now. That’s okay. You know, uh, you know, that, you know, we know that we can’t be for everyone forever. And to some people that’s going to be a, a, a, we’re going to be a temporary transitional job, but I want that two years that you give us the best two years, um, confidential cash advances. And, and you know, irony is just, uh, he’s just brilliant the way he builds a cut culture on purpose. And, um, his employees will go through a fires for him because he does for them.

Jim Rembach: (19:40)

Well, and when you started talking about all of that, man, you talked to him about that, that foundational component, um, you also added something towards the back of the book, talking about how your customer experience is always on stage. Uh, and there’s five things that you talk about and associated that. So how is our CX always on stage?

John DiJulius: (20:01)

Well, you know, that’s the, the one thing that, that a lot of people don’t, um, you know, remember is the a M when they’re on stage. So, like, you know, in my first business, the salon business, you know, people, uh, forget that just because you know, you’re, you’re not working and you’re not in front of someone. So, so an example is let’s say a hairdresser, and this can happen in the doctor’s office. This can happen in a, you know, uh, a context center. But, uh, you know, a hairdresser walks up to the front desk and, uh, you know, you’re, you’re my friend working at the front desk and I’m waiting, you know, for you to get off or I’m waiting for you to stop serving this, this guest. So you can tell me, um, you know, we’re, we’re going to go out tonight, we’re going to go out for beers, whatever it is.

John DiJulius: (20:49)

Well, so I’m sitting there on my phone texting because, you know, I don’t want to interrupt, I’m going to be polite. You have some guests that you got to take care of. Well me, ma, there’s four or five guests in a line waiting to be checked in, checked out. And what they see is two employees, one taken care of, you know, the, the customer. And the other one texting, there’s not a sign above my head that says, Oh, I don’t work up here. You know, I’m off. So you know, we’re on stage there. Or you can come in on your off day and do your mom’s hair and you’re dressed like it’s an off day. Right. Um, and you know, again, the customers think, man, did they have some unprofessionally looking, you know, employees working here cause you’ve got a wife beater shirt on or a tube top or whatever it may be. Um, so, so, you know, always remember that you’re still on stage leaving at a D at the door, right? Uh, one of my best experiences I studied at, at um, uh, the, um, the Disney Institute and I got to go, this is back in the 90s, and I got to go underground and, and magic King has a whole underground and, and I hope you don’t have any listeners like under eight. Do you? I don’t want to ruin it for them.

John DiJulius: (22:01)

Parents cover your, your, your children’s ears. So, so, uh, I’m sure in magic kingdom ground where Casper is punching punch up and take breaks and, uh, uh, I see snow white on break smoking a cigarette, complainant about some guy and I’m like, Oh my God. You know, and then she goes back in and she freshers herself up, she punches back in, she goes up these stairs through these bushes and she reappears on magic kinda ground and 15 little five, six and seven year olds come charging at her. And she turns back in this beautiful angelic princess signing their pad, you know, posing for pictures and with Disney did was they taught her right? That, that, um, you know, people, you know, spend a lot of money, travel a long way, um, maybe, you know, save up for three years and that she’s, she’s snow white and she can’t pick and choose when she could be snow white.

John DiJulius: (22:50)

And so it’s every business, right? You’ve gotta leave it at the door or leave yourself at the door, um, must be present to win. Um, meaning, you know, you’re so focused on the person that, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re engaging with. And not looking over your shoulder. I’m not texting, I’m not having a conversation with my coworker. Um, you know, we, we have a video for call centers that, you know, someone’s, you know, taking a call and, you know, the, the person next to him says, I’m going to Starbucks. Um, what do you want? Oh, and you know, she’s, you know, back to, I’m not really listening. You know, everyone’s your customer, everyone’s your customer, not just the person on the other end of the phone or, or on the other end of the counter. Um, your coworkers, right? You’ve got to treat them with the same utmost respect that the ups man that’s coming in.

John DiJulius: (23:36)

Th this stranger in the elevator. And then, and then lastly, everyone’s in the media and, you know, listen, you know, for w w w everyone has a, a, a, a, uh, a camera, a video camera. Um, and just everything goes viral today. And, you know, I love that about social media. One of the benefits of social media is it has shine a spotlight, um, on it. You can’t hide if you suck. Um, and you know, years ago, if it would’ve happened 25 years ago, the United incidents where they drag the doctor off the airplane, that would is a, he said she said thing, but because you know, there’s proof United had to own up to it. And those things are great because that, that, you know, makes us train our employees better. Hopefully be choosy of our employees and be conscious that, you know, yeah. Well I’d love to, you know, really tell this guy what a, a diva he’s, he’s being, um, you know, I, I don’t want that on, on the six o’clock news.

Jim Rembach: (24:35)

Well and as you were talking, I mean to John, I started you talking about the whole development thing and you know, being able to help people to be more successful. Cause a lot of times what organizations will do from a customer experience contact center perspective is that they’ll have quality control standards and all of that in place. And they’re dinging people for their lack of performance, but they’re not developing them. So, I mean that, I mean, you talking about burnout, I’ll burn out fast if you just keep beating me and not developing me. Uh, but when we’d start talking about it at the front line level and you had talked about how, how much of that development are you going to give those frontline people, right? Saying to me, maybe it’s 2%. Well, we do the same thing for those frontline leaders and we, Hey, you know what?

Jim Rembach: (25:14)

You’re good at being this person. So now I want you to supervise. And people doing that same thing, right? So it, it, you know, it continues to actually build upon itself. Um, but I, I think for me, when we start talking about this relationship component and the differentiating factor, and I think Jack mob, you know, the founder of Alibaba, you know, I’ve mentioned it several times where he’s come out and said, stop teaching your kids about things that they could just look up on Google. You need to teach them how to be better people. You need to teach them about art, you know, and, and, and music and all of those things that are helping them to be better people. That’s going to be the differentiating factor of the future because all the other stuff’s gonna be automated out. It’s going to be easily accessed, it’s going to be business ruled, it’s going to be, you know, very simple. Um, and it’s the human commotion and connection that’s different. So your book, you know, really is the foundational component for all of us to be able to build that. But when we start talking about making connection, and I love this part that you mentioned, the book, um, and for me, I think it’s critically important when we start talking about conducting ourselves. You talk about screw in the small talk, you know, let’s get to the big talk. Well, what do you mean by big talk?

John DiJulius: (26:24)

I love that. And I was inspired by a Ted talk. Um, her name is Kaleena got, and I think if you just Google, um, screw the small talk, uh, go for the big talk. That was her theme. And she was a college student that was just struggling and lonely and just not making connections and having all these surface and, you know, then she went on vacation or, or I’m sorry, you know, went on a college trip to, you know, I think, you know, uh, you know, maybe a mission or something. And just when people are away on vacation, they’re there. There’s, they, they let their guard down, they make, you know, and we make these packs that we’re going to, you know, visit and write and do all these things, but, you know, and she’s like, well, why can’t this, the, these, uh, you know, conversations, the depth of conversations that we seem to have on vacation, but total strangers be the same with, with my friends and, and people I meet.

John DiJulius: (27:15)

So she, uh, you know, that was her, her topic. Uh, screw the small talk. Quit asking about, um, you know, Hey, what’s going on, how’s your day, blah, blah, blah. And you know, when you have quality time, really go and ask questions. Hey, you know, you know, we’re out to dinner and we’re having beers or you know, the four of us a significant others are out and we do this. I have it in my phone, big talk questions and I love it. And it’s from her and it’s just from questions, you know, Jim, if you’re today was your last day, what would be your biggest regret? Or you know, who’s someone that, you know, uh, uh, a celebrity that you love to have lunch with, you know, and, and you know, things like that. What’s the one thing you hope you’re, you, you know, what you know, here’s a good one.

John DiJulius: (27:57)

That it was really surprising. What’s the first thing you think of that pops in your head when you get up in the morning? And a really good friend of ours said, Oh my God, I have to go to work. I hate my job. And I just felt like, you know, and maybe that’s a normal one, but I just was like, Oh God. Like I felt, so I wanted to help her get a new job because I like you, I’m sure I wake up and I can’t believe I get to do this and I know I might be in the minority, but what a horrible thought for you know, just to think that, you know, in, in, in 27 years or in 13 years, I could retire and hoping that you get old fast. Right? So, but, but you wouldn’t have those without, you know, having those stimulating questions that take it to a much deeper place. And it really exposes a lot about the person in a nonjudgmental way. But you know, where, where they’ve come up with that thought pattern, something from their childhood, whatever it may be.

Jim Rembach: (28:54)

And what we don’t realize is that helps us to make significantly deeper connections than we could otherwise. And incorporating those into our business are important. I mean, and so maybe our big questions that we’re asking people, you know, aren’t things that would be inappropriate to ask, but yet still allow us to make connection. Now. This is all inspiring and we need to do it in order to be able to refocus and make these changes and to make these connections. And you have a lot of quotes that you have in the book, but is there one or two that stand out for you that you’d like to share?

John DiJulius: (29:23)

Yeah, yeah. So, so, uh, I have a quote that pops up on my phone at 6:00 AM in the morning, um, every morning. And then when it pops up, uh, at 10:00 PM and then at 6:00 AM is act as if today’s the day you’ll be remembered for how you treat others. Um, and that’s important to me and, and I try to do it, act as if today’s the day you’ll be remembered for how you treat others. And then, you know, the one at the end of the day is, you know, how many people had a better day as a result of coming in contact with you. And I really try to think about that and kind of, you know, and, and some days I’m not happy with the answer, you know, as a bad mood. I, I rushed, I, I snapped at my kid, you know, cause we were on, you know, taking them to school and they said, Oh wait dad, I left my homework at, at home and you know, I do, you know how that’s gonna screw up. I gotta be at Erie, you know, you know, that’s the way I, I let him go off to school, you know. So it’s those two things at this. If today’s the day you’ll be remembered for how you treat others and how many people had a better day as a result of coming in contact with me.

Jim Rembach: (30:23)

I love that. Now, John, also for you and I, um, you know, we went through an activity of, of building your bio for the fast leader show because a lot of my guests, they don’t come with a bio that I asked for me. Cause of a lot of the things that you’re talking about in this book, how do people connect with John that they’ve never been able to connect with before? Um, they know who John is, not just what John has done. Um, and, and, and I, I get a lot of feedback for that. Sometimes I get feedback saying, well, I don’t like to do this, you know, and, and as you know, guests and I’m like, well, then you’re just not a fit for the show. No big deal. Um, because relationships are critically important. Um, and so one of the ways that we also learn is by people sharing their stories of what, when they got over the hump and that has two effects. Um, one is, you know, we get to learn about the person even more, and then also hopefully we can take those learnings for ourselves. Yeah. So is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

John DiJulius: (31:14)

Yeah, I hit it too many. And I think sometimes when we learn from our worst practices or other people’s worst practices, but, uh, you know, um, growing too fast, I think that’s a struggle. Um, you know, [inaudible] it’s intoxicating. Uh, but then you wake up and you realize that you’ve added some people that I don’t know why, uh, you know, I would never would have hired this person or kept this person or compromise, but you convince yourself, you know, not only do I need to keep Jim, I need, you know, 10 more. So, you know, but, you know, now we’re losing clients, losing employees because we kept a bad attitude or things like that. And, and, and, you know, maybe taking jobs or clients that weren’t in our wheel house. Um, so, you know, I, I look back on everything. I’ve made a mistake in that I regret or, you know, embarrassed to, eh, I actually found a pattern and in my whole life from little league to, you know, college to, you know, everything is, I’ve always been the underdog, right?

John DiJulius: (32:19)

I’ve always been too short to, to play, you know, at the level I wanted to. And, but yet I, I walked down, I made, you know, college baseball, right? Um, you know, you know, was not a smart person. It, you know, and, you know, academic, you know, ways. And I really grew up thinking that I had, you know, a mental issue cause that’s what the teachers are telling. So, you know, I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder, but it’s when I, I take that chip on my shoulder off and think I’ve made it right and think I deserve. And you know, and I, I think that, you know, the, the last standing ovation I had, you know, is, is, you know, I believe it or you know, something that, you know, and that’s where I, I find that I end up in a, in a, in a bad place where, you know, when I’m not the underdog, um, you know, I, I have to keep that chip on my shoulder because that’s always correlation to, you know, where I start believe in my bio. You know, I like the bio you had, cause the bio, you read the bio, you researched, um, talk more about my failures. Uh, but if I read that, you know, he’s a bestselling author and you know, this, that whatever, and I start to believe that I started having, you know, some, some cleaning up to do, I can understand what you say. Your humility is where your gold is, right? Yeah, exactly.

Jim Rembach: (33:35)

Well, John, I, you know, you’ve written several books. You have the digital ileus group, you’re doing a lot of things. Um, and I know you have several goals. You know, the boys you said you want them to be able to impact humanity, uh, even more so than you have already. Um, I think that’s all of our goals as parents who want to achieve, right? We want our kids to outdo us. Um, but when I start thinking about one of those goals,

John DiJulius: (33:58)

what would it be? You know, I have my favorite mantra and it’s up, uh, you know, in my mirror and my office is, you know, to live an extraordinary life so countless others do. And, and that, that really is important to me. And it’s just not a mantra I look at. I write a plan for it. And what I mean is, you know, I don’t want to live an extraordinary life, so I have more houses, more cars, more vacations, more money in the bank account. Um, if I live an extraordinary life, the chances that my kids, my clients, my employees will, and I feel that that’s not an opportunity. It’s, it’s our obligation to, so we all have seeds of potential and, um, the, the, the seeds of potential we don’t fulfill. We just cheated so many people. Right. Um, you know, think of if Martin Luther King, well, Disney, you know, the, you know, Nelson Mandela, you know, all that.

John DiJulius: (34:51)

But what if they just said ass, screw it. I’m going to be ordinary, right? How different our lives should be today. And you know, we’re the Walt Disney, uh, of our household or of our business or whatever. And you know, if I choose to, to eat donuts at lunch, um, go have beers with, uh, my buddies from college who are not, you know, the best influence on me. Um, and, and you’re a good friend, you’re a family member, you’re a a partner. And, and you know, you come to me and say, John, I don’t think you’re making the right choices. Some people would say, Hey, that’s none of your business. I call bull. You know, because if I make those bad choices, it does impact you. I’m not as good of a partner. I’m not as good of a parent. I’m not as good as a significant other.

John DiJulius: (35:38)

I’m not as good about a boss and I’m not going to be able to help you get to your fullest potential if I’m cheating you. And you know, and you know, it’s the old thing, you know, you, you, you, you eat like crap and you don’t exercise and you’d come home and you’d just collapse on the couch, have a beer and your watch ESPN and your kid wants you to play catch. I got on that right now, right? I mean, you know, what is that? So, so that is a burden that, that really guides me to make better decisions because it’s not for me. It’s not for my benefit. It’s for all the people, the ripple effect that are dependent on me to make good decisions.

Jim Rembach: (36:12)

And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Jim Rembach: (36:19)

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Jim Rembach: (36:38)


Jim Rembach: (36:39)

All right, here we go. Fast to the Allegion. It’s time for the home. Oh now, okay John, the hump day hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust get rapid response to sort of help us with onward and upward faster. John did Julius, are you ready to hoedown?

John DiJulius: (37:00)


Jim Rembach: (37:01)

Yep. Alright. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

John DiJulius: (37:08)

I’m just, you know, I can’t make excuses and, and just have to believe in the people around me and help elevate their games.

Jim Rembach: (37:17)

What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

John DiJulius: (37:20)

Uh, I believe in others. Um, you know, believe in others and even when it’s not easy to believe in them, that’s the time to believe in them.

Jim Rembach: (37:28)

What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

John DiJulius: (37:33)

Uh, I, you know, I, uh, energy, I love words and, and, and energy. You bring it, you bring it and, and, and the room picks up. Um, I, I see you walking by on Jim Jibo, you know, how you do and, and you know, he has a, uh, uh, uh, a bounce in his step.

Jim Rembach: (37:50)

What is one of your tools that you help, believes, drives you and helps you in business or life?

John DiJulius: (37:57)

I, you know, I, I think, uh, just the ability to delegate and, and, and, and also my a to do list. I, I’m, I’m a freak about my to do list and limiting the things I have to, to get done today. Instead of having 20, I have three, I have to get those done and everything else is a bonus.

Jim Rembach: (38:15)

And what would be one book you’d recommend to our Legion and it can be from any genre. Of course we’re going to put a link to the relationship economy on your show notes page as well as well as your other books.

John DiJulius: (38:25)

Yeah. Yeah. Um, I just read, uh, from the ground up by Howard Schultz. Um, the uh, us Starbucks, a CEO and kind of founder of Starbucks. Um, and it’s really uh, inspiring the, the uh, the person he is, uh, uh, the social conscious he has for people and communities outside of being a very successful

Jim Rembach: (38:47)

business owner. Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast D Julius. Okay. John, this is my last Humpday hold on question. Imagine you’ve been given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and,

John DiJulius: (39:09)

well, um, I don’t know if I can, uh, the word be an empathy being present. Um, I, you know, I, I was, I just, I just think it was something that I, I had a, uh, a reputation for you got to say a quick five words or less and I’m embarrassed of that today and to give people my presence and my attention. I think the greatest gift we can give anyone is the gift of our attention and having that skill set, I learned it, but man, I, I’d be so much further, um, just in an emotional capital if I had to learn that a younger age.

Jim Rembach: (39:46)

John, I had fun with you. How can the fast leader Legion connect with you?

John DiJulius: (39:50)

Uh, the de Julius, uh, the de Julius Uh, email me John at the D, Julie’s

Jim Rembach: (39:57)

John did Julius, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.