Perhaps some of the best lessons around the importance of leadership and team-building can be learned through sports. Often the principles that create a winning team out on the field are the same that apply to create a winning team in business.
Jamy Bechler, a former college basketball coach, decided to take what he learned from his years on the court and apply it to help people in the business world. He’s now an executive business coach, professional speaker, and leadership trainer who works with organizations to motivate and strengthen teams by helping them understand the important role they each play–he also hosts the Success is a Choice podcast which features guests of all different backgrounds sharing their personal stories of how they achieved success.
In this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, Celisa talks with Jamy about the topic of leadership including leading regardless of role, how to create influence, and tips for building high-performing teams.
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Read the Show Notes
[00:18] – Highlighted Resource of the Week – Jamy Bechler’s list of 18 FOR ’18: 18 Books to Read in 2018. Within this list Jamy also links to his 15 best books for leaders.
[01:15] – A preview of what will be covered in this podcast where Celisa interviews Jamy Bechler, a leadership trainer, professional speaker, and executive business coach.
[03:46] – Introduction to Jamy and some additional information about his work.
[05:25] – One of the topics you address is leading regardless of role. How does leadership differ (or not) when you’ve got authority on an org chart versus when you’re dealing with “equals” or even people outside your organization? Jamy explains that whenever you have a team or assigned roles, sometimes there are assumptions with those roles—and many times people think certain things aren’t their job/responsibility. He emphasizes that everybody is in the same boat—everybody is in it together so every role is important and you can lead in any role. Leadership is more than just org charts or flow charts. It’s really about influence so regardless of somebody’s position, they can still have a huge impact on a company or team or people around them.
[08:13] – Influence is another topic that you speak too. What creates influence? How can I become a become person of influence? Jamy says first you have to be somebody who is worthy of being followed or somebody that is respected by others (if you want to have a positive influence). He points out we all have influence over somebody but it’s a question of whether we’re going to lead them forward or backwards. If people respect you, they will follow you and be influenced by you—the adverse can be true as well. When you’re looking at leadership and influence, Jamy emphasizes that it starts with you because you can lead and influence yourself first. At a macro level we may not be able to make change right away but on a micro level we can with a few people at a time, which can then have a multiplying effect.
[11:38] – You stress the idea of a team succeeding and failing together but sometimes there can be friction within an organization. Do you run into situations where sometimes what needs to be done is really getting everyone on the same team and focused on the same goals and outcomes? Jamy says he often has to train people that what they’re doing does matter to other people and it’s a collective responsibility where they are all in it together. Sometimes what you have to do with your organization is show and train everyone why each person and their role actually matters. This can be difficult because we often live in a vacuum with our thoughts and we don’t see the big picture. But when we begin to recognize the importance of other people, then we can start to encourage each other and celebrate each other’s successes.
[15:09] – You’ve worked with a lot of organizations and individuals in the domain of leadership. Do you see commonalities? Are there ideas or actions that tend to improve leadership regardless of the particular people or businesses involved? One thing he sees is that organizations don’t take the approach that they are all in this together and have a collective responsibility. For example, he’s been hired by upper management to “fix” a specific group—but he points out that the culture actually is set and emphasized by upper management so they need to set the example and walk the walk. And the employee also needs to see the bigger picture and do their part to do their best to help the organization succeed, something Jamy says may help them enjoy their job more.
[20:43] – Leadership is so essential to what organizations do and to us as individuals too. And yet the fact that you and other leadership trainers and coaches suggests there’s room for improvement, that often leadership isn’t done right. What common mistakes or missteps do you see in leadership? Jamy shares two things that he sees:
- Perspective – not seeing people’s perspectives or point of views—not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing, just not seeing it. To get to the best win-win situation – not just to win for yourself – you need to see other perspectives.
- Connecting – if we don’t connect well with people we don’t find out what motivates and inspires them, an essential part of leadership.
[27:57] – We’ve seen so much change of late in the world—technology driving a lot of that change. Do you see implications for leadership? Will the nature of leadership need to shift in the coming years to account for and address some of the changes we’re seeing? Or is leadership sort of fundamentally always the same type entity? Jamy says yes to both—he thinks there are some core principles to leadership that exist (and remain true regardless of time)—thing like resiliency, inner strength, strong character, etc. Jamy uses Abraham Lincoln as an example and talks about how he was able to connect with others for a shared and common vision. That being said, he stresses you also have to be able to adapt to the changing times. He talks about the power of social media and using it as a tool rather than a weapon.
[33:07] – You opted to get the John Maxwell Leadership Certification. A good portion of our listeners either offer certifications or provide education that supports getting or maintaining a certification. For you, what’s been the value of your certification? Jamy says that John Maxwell had been so influential to him over the years and he wanted to be able to reach more people and have a bigger platform so this certification was a no-brainer for him. He also talks about the benefit of online certifications because there is a depth of resources and he recommends that everyone get certified in anything they’re interested in—it adds credibility and shows a level of expertise related to the topic.
[37:03] – I can’t help but ask about your Success is a Choice podcast. You’ve been at it just a few months, but you already have 70 episodes, so that’s a pretty furious pace you’re setting! Tell me a little about the podcast—why you decided to start a podcast and what you’ve gotten out of the experience so far. Jamy shares that it’s been great because you get to talk to a lot of interesting people and ask questions you want to ask. He’s also been able to make new connections with different people. When he set out to do the podcast, he went against conventional wisdom, which said he should find a niche/target market for the podcast. Instead he decided to find people from all different backgrounds to tell the stories of how they became successful.
[41:54] – What is one of the most powerful learning experiences you’ve been involved in, as an adult, since finishing your formal education? Jamy shares an experience that happened several years ago when he was first fired—he was an NCAA head coach by the age of 27—his goal was to be one by the age of 32 but he was fired by then. He talks about how going through this experience taught him so many valuable lessons and how his positive reaction to this has helped him motivate others and give them strength.
[45:39] – How to connect with Jamy and learn more:
[46:28] – Wrap Up
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[48:01] – Sign off