055: Justin Robbins: I got there and I immediately felt lost

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055: Justin Robbins: I got there and I immediately felt lost

Justin Robbins Show Notes

Justin Robbins graduated from High School with honors and was on his way to become a music teacher. But in his first semester in college he immediately felt lost. Justin then made a big decision to drop out which sent him on a three year journey to find his way. Listen to Justin tell his story of finding his passion and getting over the hump.

Justin Robbins spent much of his youth in Bloomsburg, PA, a small town in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Valley. During his teenage years, Justin’s family moved to the suburbs of Washington, DC where he was actively involved in his school’s music and theatre arts programs.

Through Justin’s late teens and early 20’s, he lived in a variety of locations and experienced an assortment of educational and professional opportunities. By the age of 22, Justin had been a hotel general manager, a US Navy recruit, and the booking agent for a Grammy award winner. He gained exposure to unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and used these experiences to develop a well-rounded world perspective, as his career gained momentum.

Along the way, he also earned money by working in numerous frontline customer service roles from paperboy to call center agent to cashier. Eventually, Justin’s career brought him to Hershey, PA where he spent five years in the contact center for the “Sweetest Place on Earth”. While at Hershey, he became responsible for many of their hiring, training, and customer experience initiatives.

Justin is currently employed as the Community Director for United Business Media where he leads both the Incoming Calls Management Institute’s and Help Desk Institute’s brands in bringing research, best practices, and impactful content to the contact center, customer service, and IT support professional’s communities.

Justin volunteers as the Newsletter Editor of AGAPE, a mission serving his local community, as well as a high school youth leader at his church. He is a husband and father to three children and enjoys taking his family on adventures across the country and currently lives in Danville, PA.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @justinmrobbins and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“The way to really build the skill is to practice it.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet

“I don’t know that it’s a matter of overcoming the fear…it’s bridling it.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“It’s a matter of using it to motivate me rather than let it get the best of me.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“I had this choice to let fear get the best of me…or I could own these fears.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Internally, we know what ignites our passion.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Be true to you.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“You’re not going to do your best work until you recognize what is true to you.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Who are you really and what are you meant to do?” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Focus on who you are internally.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Too many of us settle for something because we’re afraid.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Always be a student.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Seek and pursue people who are doing really great things.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Dream bigger, dream bigger, dream bigger.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

“Never give up, sometimes we fail…get over it, move on.” -Justin Robbins Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Justin Robbins graduated from High School with honors and was on his way to become a music teacher. But in his first semester in college he immediately felt lost. Justin then made a big decision to drop out which sent him on a three year journey to find his way. Listen to Justin tell his story of finding his passion and getting over the hump.

Advice for others

Be true to you. You’re not going to do your best work until you recognize what is true to you. Focus on you and who you are internally.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Setting the bar too low. I don’t dream big enough. Dream bigger.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Never give up. Sometimes we fail, it’s going to be a failure, get over it, and move on.

Secret to Success

Personal drive. Being genuinely excited, enthusiastic and wanting to constantly get better.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

The insight of really great authors who are really wise and provide excellent advice and ideas for just thinking outside of my norm.

Recommended Reading

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change

Contacting Justin

LinkedIn: https://twitter.com/justinmrobbins

Twitter: https://twitter.com/justinmrobbins

Resources

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

055: Justin Robbins: I got there and I immediately felt lost

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

How do you get higher contact center agent performance? It’s when customers grade the call and the ratings and comments are used to motivate and coach agents. Uncover hidden secrets and replicate your best agents with the real-time insights from the award-winning External Quality Monitoring program Customer Relationship Metrics. Move onward and upward by going to www.customersgradethecall.com/fast and getting a $7,500 rapid result package for free.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I am so excited because I have somebody on the show that we get to tap in to their knowledge and their energy in order to help us get over the hump. Justin Robbins spent much of his youth in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania a small town in Pennsylvania, Susquehanna Valley. During his teenage years Justin’s family moved to the suburbs of Washington DC where he was actively involved in the school’s music and theater arts program. Through Justin’s late teens and early 20’s he lived in a variety of locations and experience an assortment of educational and professional opportunities. By the age of 22, Justin had been a hotel manager, a U.S. Navy recruit and a booking agent for Grammy award-winning artist Kevin Max of DC Talk. He gained exposure to unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and use these experiences to develop a well-rounded, world perspective as his career gain momentum. 

 

Along the way he also earn money by working in numerous frontline customer service roles from paper boy to call-center agent to cashier. Eventually Justin’s career bottom to Hershey Pennsylvania where he spent five years in the contact letter of the sweetest place on earth. While at Hershey, he became responsible for many of their hiring, training and customer experience initiatives. Justin is currently employed as the community director for United Business media were he leads both the Incoming Calls Management Institutes and Help Desk Institute branch in bringing research, best practices and impactful content to the contact center, customer service, and IT support professionals communities. Justin volunteers as the newsletter editor for Agape, a mission, serving his local community as well as a high school youth leader at his church. He is a husband and father of three children and enjoys taking his family on adventures across the country and currently lives in Danville, Pennsylvania. Justin Robbins are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Justin Robbins:     Oh, Jim, you know, I’m so excited to be here. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And I’m glad to have you. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better.

 

Justin Robbins:     I think the best way to put is building community. What are the things that really got me  through all of my experiences along my career is just having that sense of belonging and knowing that there are others just like me pursuing the same types of things, experience the same types of problems that I’m experiencing, and so for me that’s my passion. It’s finding those people, helping them get connected and just kind of getting forward momentum, building relationships, gaining experiences, again it comes down to building community.

 

Jim Rembach:    I really admire that in you because I had the opportunity to meet you several years ago and it seems like just in a very short period of time we rapidly found a connection with one another. And it seems like you’re just one of those folks that of course is, gifted with that but you also nurture that in yourself and continue to grow that. What are some the things that you do in order to help you enrich and build that inherent skill that you already have?

 

Justin Robbins:     For me it’s always been a matter of immersing myself in those types of situations. My wife and I, we are polar opposites, it’s probably something really important to know about us, and my wife is—you tell her let’s go meet a bunch of strangers and spent a night with them, they’re probably a million things that she could think of that she would rather do, but for me those types of situations is actually where I get to sharpen my blade, that’s really where I get to hone this skill and figure these things out. It’s one of those things that it’s hard for me to teach someone and to tell someone how to something if I’m not able to, I don’t have the experience and the exposure to do it myself. So, for me the enriching opportunities, the way to really build this skill, is to practice it in as many opportunities and as many chances that I can get.

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s such a great point and even for myself, I know there’s certain things that I would like to get better at, kind of set the goal, but however I let fear stop me from doing that very thing. So, how do you overcome that fear?

 

Justin Robbins:     I don’t know that it’s a matter of overcoming the fear as much it is maybe bridling it and really understanding how to use it to gain momentum and just have that forward inertia in propelling you and motivating you. Taking back to high school when I got into theatre and gone into singing, I had this terrible stage fright. If I ever get in front of people, it just terrified me. And kind of got to this place internally where I realized that two choices, I could let fear get the best of me and I’d still have to get in front of people and they would see that kind of trepidation and they’d see me, I’d stumble, I’d be shaking and so I could let that fear get the best of me or I could use that fear to really drive me and say, “I have this opportunity to be in front of these people and I can give them my best, I’m going to be scared regardless.” People still say that me today, I’ll get up in front of—whether it’s 15 people 1,500 people they’re like, “Do you get nervous? Do you get…? Absolutely, every single time but it’s a matter of using it to motivate me rather than let it get the best of me. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I think a great way of putting it, don’t focus in on trying to get over that hump of that fear but bridle it and use it in order to propel you forward and thanks for sharing that. I have to share with everybody since we’re on audio and you don’t get to see us, Justin is also one of those folks that I look up to by being one of the most best dressed folks that I’ve ever seen in an event, and I’m like, “What’s Justin going to wear?” and I’m a guy, right? But the feminine side has to come out because I need to see what Justin’s wearing. Great dresser and also great person, great personality, if you haven’t had the opportunity to see Justin speak you definitely want to look out for that. Talking about your background in theater and everything that we share as far as the different experiences that you had and those are the things that can add so much to our own life and where we’re is those experiences. But we need inspiration, you’re an inspirational person, and we focus on quotes on the show to help give us that. Is there a quote or two that kind of stands out for you that provide you with that energy, that you can share?

 

Justin Robbins:    Yeah. For me, there’s one quote that, and I share this at every opportunity that I can when I’m with a group people, it’s actually by Maya Angelou and it says, “Remember, people will judge you by your actions not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg.” That really does resonated with me that we so often say, “Oh, I wish I could do this, I wish I could have this change in my organization, I’d really like to see this happen differently or I wish, I wish—and we have all of this ideas and all of this intentions but really it’s a matter of what are we going to do with that? How are we going to put it into action? That’s really going to define us, nobody’s going to know a spire of wish list, and they’re going to know by what we actually made happen, and so for me that’s just kind of a personal drive and a personal motivator.

 

Jim Rembach:    One of the things that you said in there, and thanks for sharing that quote, that kind of stands out for me and what I’ve tried to do as part of a personal practice is try to share what my intent is before I start talking about a thought or an idea or trying to encourage people to have some dialogue because I don’t want them to unfortunately get a wrong perception of what I intend. If you don’t tell people your intention they’re going to make up what they perceive to be your intention and it may not be what you want so, I try to incorporate that in my dialogue.

 

Justin Robbins:    That’s a very good point, Jim.

 

Jim Rembach:    And you kind of made that stand out for me, so thanks. When you start thinking about all of the things that you’ve had experience doing and really helping you be where you are today, I know there’s been a lot of humps and not that it’s a negative in any way but doing and shifting and getting all those different experiences are from many different reasons and some of them are humps that we just can’t get over so we just divert our path and just go somewhere else but were still moving forward, that’s the intent, right?  Is there a time that there was a hump that you had to get over and it defined you to take a better path? Can you share that story? 

 

Justin Robbins:    This is actually not a commonly shared story that I’m telling, it’s probably something that a lot of people don’t know about me. When I graduate from high school I was in the National Honor Society in the program, I was kind of all through high school set that I was going to be a music teacher. And so I went in to my freshmen year of college, went in at the honors program, I was really excited about music education at a school that at that time had a really great music ed program, and I got there and I immediately felt lost like I didn’t belong not  in the sense that college wasn’t necessarily right for me, but I realize that the degree I went out for wasn’t what I wanted to do. There were variety of factors impacting my life at that time but I realize that I was kind of lost, I personally lost, I was just mentally lost, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But I did feel that right there at that time that I was just like spinning and making no forward progress. 

 

So, I made the decision at that point after part of my freshman semester of college, to dropout. And so I dropped out of college in my freshman year and for a number of years I talk about all of those things I did before I turn 22 and it was just me just trying to see what would stood out, some of there were really great, really exciting but there were also some really miserable, terrible jobs, horrible bosses, making not much money at all, and honestly for probably a period of at least three years it was not good. I mentally was kind of in a bad place at times, I would spend the little money that I had on things that I really didn’t needed and honestly Jim for the bigger part of it, I was lost. And I didn’t really know where I wanted to be and what I want to do. 

 

I was thankful to a number of mentors who are externally in my life. Externally feeding in to me who really help me regain my focus, regain my charge and step back to this place where I realize, I do have a choice. It went back to that place of fear and I had this choice to let fear get that best of me and to play this victim of circumstance where I could all this fears, all this anxieties and aligned with, what was I ultimately passionate about? What did I feel that I was really good at? And just pursue that and invest my efforts and invest my time and energy and honing myself into a very specific skill sets that would really allow me to pursue my passions, allow me to pursue the things that I thought and that I had received recognition for being good at. And so, for me that hump was, this was just a period of insecurity not really knowing who I was or what I was meant to be doing with my life over that three-year time when I decided to drop out of college.

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that story. For me,  I had a similar scenario where I was in between a job and what I wanted to do some of the things that you said just resonated with me so much because it was a scenario were the anxiety just started overwhelmingly me. And being able to try to figure out a way out was—it was so dark, it was so difficult. The thing for me that helped too was the thing it sounds like it helped for you—yes, some good mentors but, also really focusing on one thing. I think for me I was trying to focus in on so many things that’s part of what was driving me nuts.

 

Justin Robbins:    Exactly, absolutely.

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that story. For me, I also think about, you had a heck of a lot of strengthens and some good support because mine was a couple months, years was a little bit longer than that. But definitely both of us have come out on the other side at this point and I’m so glad that you’re part of the Legion. When you thinking about all of those experiences and that time and even where you are today, all of that, if there was a piece of advice that you would give to the fast leader legion, what would it be?

 

Justin Robbins:    I thought long and hard about this one, really what I think it comes down to is, internally we know what ignites our passion, and we know what that one thing is that if we can do for the rest of our lives and not get paid a cent for it that’s the thing that we would pursue. I feel that this could be a hard advice to get, sometimes at least it was maybe hard for me to process but really my best piece of advice for the nation is to be true to you. And that might mean having to turn down some things that maybe you like, maybe they made you feel good, maybe they have make you feel good but you did them because you’ve got something out it. Whether that money, whether that was prestige, whatever that was, ultimately you not going to be satisfied, you’re not going to your best work until you recognize what is true to you, who are you really? What are your design? And what do you meant to do? 

 

That come to some people easily, they might be doing that right now. For some people they might have been trying to figure it out but still aren’t there yet. Honestly, what I just say is really focus on who you are internally? What do you feel? What your pulse racing about? Where do you get that excitement over? And pursue it, pursue it, if you do you’re going to find the satisfaction that go beyond any paycheck you could ever get. They’ll going to go beyond any level of procedure, every trials you could ever receive because ultimately you’re doing what you’re meant to do. I think to many of us settle for something because where afraid of what that might mean if we ultimately pursue what we thought called to do. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Thanks for sharing that. Another thing that stood out that as you were saying that is I started thinking about control. Oftentimes we try to control so many things and I had the opportunity to speak with this one coach as part of their marketing for their services it said something  along the lines of, “Take control of your life.” And I said, “You know what, we all want to hear that and as a concept we embrace that, we attracted that, we want that but in fact that’s the thing that harms us when we try to control so much because when you try to control and the more you try to control, you in fact, control nothing. It’s one of those oxymoron in regards to trying to thrive and find happiness, you can’t control it you just have to do what you said, focus. Think about the things you enjoy and release, that’s where the value will come from in your life. So I know for you—gosh! You have so many things in your plate including helping youth at your church being a father, raising a family, a husband, managing these communities and these brands, speaking, writing there just so many things that just so many things that you have going on right now, if you were to say you have some goals what would they be?

 

Justin Robbins:    Yeah, that’s a great question, Jim. For me, one of the biggest goals that I think is never going to change is to never, never settle for what I know about my craft and about my community and my industry. Today I think it’s really easy, particularly people leverage you as an expert in the field and people secured, I think it can really easy to fall in the trap of—“Yeah, I really know what I’m talking about. Man, I’m good, I think I’m good at where I’m as, as far as how good I am.” For me one of the goals is to never get to that point and to never be that person but to really always be a student of my craft and really always be a student of the industry and the works that I’m doing, so that’s a big goal for me. Always look for opportunities, always find somebody who’s smarter that I and find a way to surround myself with those types of people. 

 

I mean, one of my tactics for most of my career is to find people who are really great at what they do and surround myself with them, and so that’s a continuous goal for me, to seek and pursue people who are doing really great things and make them part of network of friends and my network of community. Another goal for me is to continue to figure out the whole work life balance. I think for a lot of us that’s something that we say is important to us. I been saying it’s important to me but putting a goal on making sure that—we talk about family, we talk about friends and recognizing that it’s their support, their ability to carry us through is what enables us to be successful in our careers. So, that’s a goal for me. Another goal, just rounded out with three is, I love being outdoors and a goal for 2016 is to spend a weekends doing subzero camping. That’s a goal to make it through three days in a really, really cold weather with a bunch of guys that are just awesome friends, so I don’t want to chicken out—that’s a problem with my goals right now.

 

Jim Rembach:    And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. 

 

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Jim Rembach:     Alright here we go Fast Leader Legion it’ time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Justin, the Hump Day Hoedown is the 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 robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Justin Robbin are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Justin Robbins:     I’m ready to hoedown, Jim. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Justin Robbins:     Honestly, setting the bar too low. I think I just kind of set a goal and I settle for that and I don’t dream big enough. So, dream bigger, dream bigger, dream bigger.

 

Jim Rembach:     What is the best leadership advice you have received?

 

Justin Robbins:     In line with that is just never give up. Sometimes we fail it’s going to be a failure, get over it move on. 

 

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

 

Justin Robbins:     Just personal drive. Just really being genuinely excited, enthusiastic and wanting to constantly get better.

 

Jim Rembach:     What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps to lead in business or life?

 

Justin Robbins:     The insight of really great authors who are really wise and provide excellent advice and ideas for just thinking outside of my norm.

 

Jim Rembach:     What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, it could be from any genre?

 

Justin Robbins:     It’s “The promise of a pencil” by Adam Braun.

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today show by going to fastleader.net/Justin Robbins. Okay, Justin this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why? 

 

Justin Robbins:     I can’t make a decision, Jim, this is so hard. I would say I would take back the knowledge of where I’m going to be in the amount of years, it wasn’t far ago so I’m not going to say the number of years, but just what’s going to happen in the next series of years for me, I would just take the knowledge of where I’m going to end up and really just kind of say, “Look you know you have somethings in front of you right now but just continue to work hard and continue to stay true to you and everything’s going to work out okay. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Justin, it was an honor to spend time with you today can you please share with the fast leader legion how they can connect with you?

 

Justin Robbins:     Absolutely. If you go on Twitter I’m @JustinMRobbins, also LinkedIn/JustinMRobbins, if you look on the Internet for Justin M. Robbins you’ll probably going to find me, Jim. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Justin Robbins, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the fast leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot Woot!

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader Show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the www.fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO

 

 

2019-11-27T22:16:25-05:00February 10th, 2016|Podcasts|0 Comments

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