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Episode 021 – Read to Lead Podcast Host Jeff Brown

Posted on Nov 14, 2016 by in Podcast Episode | 0 comments


Jeff helps us understand why reading is critical to our growth as leaders, how to read efficiently and the authors you should never miss!

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Jeff Brown is the host of the Read to Lead Podcast, which has been in the top ten in all of iTunes for business podcasts.

Each week Jeff interviews a different author who has written about leadership, personal growth, marketing, entrepreneurship and other related topics. Previous guests on his show include John Maxwell, Seth Godin and Simon Sinek.

Jeff has been a leader and mentor to me in getting this show up and running, and I am proud to be able to introduce him to each of you today.

  1. Before we get too far along can you take just a minute or two and tell us about your career path?
    1. Spent much of career in radio/broadcasting
    2. Co-hosted a nationally syndicated show for six years
    3. Then worked off-air producing/mentoring
    4. After facing a layoff, went into business for himself
    5. Important to be ready for curveballs in life before you need it.
    6. Began the Read to Lead podcast and a side hustle while at the radio station, so it wasn’t a total shock when had to go full-time
  2. Everyone is busy. Information is everywhere. So why do you feel reading books is key to becoming a great leader?
    1. No better way to continually grow
    2. Best way to learn from someone in a specific topic
    3. Challenge worldview and take you out of your comfort zone
    4. If you get one great idea from a book, that’s $20 well spent
    5. It’s not enough just to read regularly; you have to be someone who can take the knowledge and put it into action
  3. How would you advise people to start adding reading books into their lives? (time per day? Time of the day for best results? Etc.)
    1. What gets scheduled gets done
    2. Set aside an hour several days per week to read; put it in your calendar
    3. With business/non-fiction books, you don’t have to read the entire thing; just read chapters that apply to you (i.e. it’s not like a novel that has to be read from beginning to end)
    4. So read the introduction, the first chapter, and the last chapter; get a full idea of where the book is going to go; then look at chapter titles and pick/choose
    5. Looking for the key insights from the book
  4. How do you suggest we use the various formats of books like ebooks, audible, etc.? Have you found tools that can help us get more out of our reading time?
    1. Blinkist (app) – 15 to 20 minute summaries of business books
    2. Preference for physical book
      1. Write/underline in book
      2. Notes in margin; dogear pages
      3. Brain thinks about things in relation to where they physically were in the book (i.e. that quote was about 1/3 in and top/right)
      4. More difficult to retain audiobooks; better than nothing but not as easy to remember
    3. (Daniel talking about Don Yaeger book Great Teams: 16 Things High Performing Organizations Do Differently example)
  5. If we haven’t read anything about leadership before, what are the two or three books you would suggest we start with?
    1. Multipliers: how the best leaders make everyone smarter – Liz Wiseman
      1. Someone who isn’t threatened by people on the team who may be better or smarter than they are about a particular thing (v. Diminisher)
      2. Will go out of their way to hire and empower people who knew more than the leader
    2. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Pat Lencioni
      1. Lack of trust
      2. Encourage healthy conflict to get the best ideas
  6. Similarly who are the two or three authors we ought to just bookmark and buy their new book as soon as it comes out?
    1. Seth Godin
      1. Purple Cow helped Jeff move down the road in his reading
      2. (Daniel referring to Start-Up School Podcast)
    2. John Maxwell
  7. There are a couple of authors I want to ask you about because they have a sports background and that’s the common thread to our study here:
    1. Chris Hogan – former football player, team member of Dave Ramsey’s company Ramsey Solutions, and author of Retire Inspired. What can you tell us about Chris and his book?
      1. Puts an emphasis on the fundamentals
      2. Intentional about surrounding yourself with cheerleaders who want to see you succeed; limit those who will be negative influencers
        1. Jim Rohn says you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with
    2. Pat Williams – founder and senior VP of the Orlando Magic, author of 100 books, Army vet, pro baseball player, marathoner. Tell us about Pat and his book(s).
      1. Authored The Difference You Make: Changing Your World Through The Impact of Your Influence which is the book Jeff talked with him about on Episode 15.
      2. Think of leadership like a three-legged stool:
        1. Identify yourself as a leader (before others will see you as a leader, you have to see yourself that way; Jeff Goins and Seth Godin examples)
        2. Prepare by spending time with people you want to emulate (in person; read books; listen to podcasts; etc.)
        3. Do it! (Leadership is influence and we all influence others, so we’re all leaders.
  8. At your 100 episode mark you identified the top 10 leadership lessons you had learned from your guests at that point. You’re at episode 157 now, so I assume you’ve added to that list. If you would pick maybe one or two that stick out to you and teach us those lessons.
    1. Stop thinking you have to please everyone; it’s okay to say no; if we try to make something for everyone, we’ve made it for no one
    2. It’s not what you know; it’s how fast you can learn; reading five books on a topic doesn’t make you an expert, but it does give you a headstart on 95% of the population
  9. Who have you not yet interviewed that you want to?
    1. Megyn Kelly – The Kelly File on Fox; has a new book Settle For More
  10. You are also involved in mentoring and coaching. Can you talk a little about the importance those have been in your own career, and how we can use them to become better leaders?
    1. Just emailed his audience this week on this topic
    2. Sometimes we need someone who can help us get unstuck; usually that person has been where we are and done what we want to do; they can help us take the next step
    3. (Daniel on the importance of being mentored; participating in a peer group and mentoring others)
  11. Do you have any habits or routines that have been key to your success?
    1. Running – missed only three days in the past 60/70; has to be the first thing done in the morning; so by the time he’s getting started working, there’s already a feeling of accomplishment and that the hardest part of the day is behind him
  12. Where can people go to learn more about you and Read to Lead?

Thank Yous/Acknowledgements:

  1. Antioch Live/Clear Day Media Groupmusic
    1. More here.
  2. Jonathan Davis – production
  3. Clint Musslewhite voice over

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