Today’s message is short and sweet, but powerful. This past week we had the honor of having Jesse Itzler speak to our team during a staff meeting. He’s part of the ownership of the Atlanta Hawks, the co-founder of Marquis Jet, a New York Times best-selling author, and he’s married to Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. His book Living With a Seal has made a big splash, and if you haven’t read it you should stop reading this, go read the book, then come back here.
Welcome back! Jesse’s book hits on so many topics that are important to leaders. Determination, mental strength, perseverance, and creativity to name just a few. But what I wanted to hit on today for the new leader is the power of story. When Jesse spoke to our team, his story was a hodgepodge of positive and negative turns throughout his life. And it was evident that each of them taught him something, not only about himself but about how to be successful in life. And now that he’s achieved success at a very high level, he wants to use those experiences to help others. That’s what great leaders do.
So you’re probably thinking “I am not the co-founder of Marquis Jet, I’m not part of the ownership of the Atlanta Hawks, I’m not married to the founder of Spanx.” Neither was he at one point. And now that you’ve read the book, you know the key to his success. He just wouldn’t quit, or take no for an answer. He also saw strengths that other people possessed, and if he wanted to meet them to learn from them, he went after it. And, even after he had achieved great financial success, he still had to know what kept SEAL (from the book) pushing past most peoples’ physical limits. I’ve shared before how doing the things no one else is willing to do will ultimately separate you from everyone else, and this is one of those areas. Jesse was willing to overcome a fear of going after what he wanted. Today he credits many of his successes and relationships to “picking up the phone and calling people”. Be willing to seek out others to learn from them, their stories, and their strengths. Successful people will almost always give you their time.
Fast forward, and now you’re the successful one. You’ll have people behind you in life who are seeking you out. Give them your time. Tell them your story. Help shape their success. Again, using your experiences to help others is something great leaders do. So if you get nothing else out of what you read above (or Jesse’s book), remember that, and let it shape how you influence those around you.