Your top leaders got there by being hungry and continuously learning. Are they still doing that?
Discover why investing in your leaders, removing communication roadblocks and increasing trust, connection and authenticity is a great investment....
Today's guest, John Bates, is a leading global expert in leadership communication, who trains and offers 'executive whispering sessions' to top executives at companies like Johnson and Johnson, Innovation Labs, NASA, IBM, AirLiquide, Boston Scientific and more.
Along with NASA astronauts and top executives, John has trained many TED and hundreds of TEDx speakers all over the world, as well as helping C level executives at these top companies make their communications TED worthy and powerful.
In today's episode, John Bates unpacks the topic "TED Worthy Leaders"
Check out these episode highlights:
02:45– John’s ideal client: “Anybody who is really, truly committed to making a difference and who understands, that the quality of their leadership is a direct function of the quality of their communication…”
04:09 – His client's biggest challenge: “It kind of depends on where they are on the spectrum of experience and leadership. For some people, it's just getting themselves and getting that they actually are a leader who makes a difference...”
06:36 – John’s #1 insight to help you: "It's all about connecting your commitment to how you show up to give that talk..."
07:13 – What concept, book, program, or talk impacted you the most: "The best advice I ever got, as a public speaker, came from two special people and it was 'Don't be nervous, be at their service'.."
09:48 – John’s valuable free resource: "They can go to bit.ly/johnbates. I do a weekly FREE Mini Training. If someone were to register for that, get that free weekly thing and check in with it..."
12:56 – John’s last thoughts: "I think what really works when it comes to public speaking, especially at TED is, you don't have to wait for a TED talk. Go give an awesome, 'TED like talk' anywhere, and it'll make a difference..."
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Narrator 0:00 Welcome to the Destiny Awakening Interviews, a podcast with Andrew Wayfinder and his guests. Bringing you powerful Insights, Inspiration and ways to Break Free, Live Life your way and make a difference in our changing and challenging world.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:17 So hello, everyone and a very warm welcome to another edition of the Destiny Awakening Interviews.
I'm Andrew Wayfinder Hryniewicz. And I'm joined today by John Bates, CEO and founder of Leadership Communication, expert and trainer, executive coach, TED and TEDx and keynote speaker.
So a very warm welcome to you, John. And where are you hanging out today?
John Bates 0:38 Thank you, Andrew.
Well, you know, if people could see my background, they would know that I'm on the International Space Station, but actually, it's just a physical background I got to cover the view under my deck. I'm in Salt Lake City, Utah right now.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:53 Okay, great. And I guess you probably have pretty decent weather there now or is it getting nice?
John Bates 0:57 It's beautiful. Yeah. Oh, it's been so nice. This, you know, thank heavens kind of cool. Not too hot. Not too cold. Really beautiful. Still snow on the mountains. Beautiful in the valley all green. It's gorgeous.
Andrew Hryniewicz 1:11 Lovely. Okay. Well, let's get on to the work you're doing and your experience.
So John's a leading global expert in Leadership Communication, and he offers trainings and executive whispering sessions, to top executives at companies like Johnson and Johnson, Innovation Labs, NASA, Accenture, IBM, Airliquide, Boston Scientific and more.
And they regularly recommend them as the best communication and leadership trainer in the world today.
Along with NASA astronauts and top executives, John has trained many TED and hundreds of TEDx speakers all over the world, as well as helping C level executives at these top companies make their communications TED worthy, and powerful.
John's big "Why?" is to, "Help great leaders change the world through the power, clarity and effectiveness of their leadership and communications".
So thank you, John, for your time today. And the topic we're going to be looking at is "TED Worthy Leaders". And John's gonna unpack that in answering six questions.
So the first question, John, is, who is your ideal client, and what's the transformation, your work helps them achieve?
John Bates 2:31 I would say if I were to step back from the marketing and say, "Who really benefits and whom I love to work with, in terms of an ideal client". Anybody who is really, truly committed to making a difference...
And who understands, that the quality of their leadership is a direct function of the quality of their communication.
So typically, I work with people, you could be a self-declared leader, or you could be leading a gigantic organisation or anywhere in between.
But people who are leaders who, oftentimes, come to me because they have something that matters to them that they want to communicate.
And the fact that I'm one of the more prolific TED format trainers in the world attracts them, right? They want to do a TED-like talk.
I've never worked for TED. I've spoken at TED and they love me, but I've never worked for them. But I have worked for about 35 or 40 TEDx events as the trainer and the coach.
And I've trained a ton of people in the corporate world in that TED format. So people who understand the power of their words.
And what I've realised over the last decade, Andrew, of doing this is that, in some ways, it's almost not as much about the actual talk, although, yes, it is.
It's even more about the transformational journey that people go on to become the person that talk needs them to be.
And it doesn't mean changing who they are. It means stepping even more fully into who they are. And all of their greatness, which is what I call "transformational".
Andrew Hryniewicz 4:27 Yeah. So that that actually, I think dovetails perfectly with question number two. So what's the biggest challenge they face as they make that step or they work with you?
John Bates 4:38 Well, you know, it kind of depends on where they are on the spectrum of experience and leadership. For some people, it's just getting themselves and getting that they actually are a leader who makes a difference.
And then being willing to invest in themselves, and the time and the effort to go get noticed. And all the fear and uncertainty that entails, right?
To go share your message with the world. I mean, it means you can't be invisible anymore. So that's at one end.
But then, the people that I think I often make an even bigger difference for, are the people who suffered from the problem that I had for so long... which is that they're, they're good leaders.
They're always one of the best speakers at the conference. And they kind of think they have this whole thing handled. Well, that was definitely my biggest problem. Is that I was always one of the best speakers at the conference.
And the problem with that is that the bar was so low. And I was never, ever going to get anywhere near reaching my full potential, as long as I was satisfied with that.
And those are the people that I make the biggest difference for... people that are already excellent, that already have a lot of speed and momentum, that are already one of the best speakers everywhere they go. But who realise that "there's no top to this thing".
There's just another level and another level. And what would it mean if you took a whole new level, even though you're already one of the best speakers everywhere you go, you know?
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:17 Okay, great.
So question number three then is, what's the number one insight from all your speaker training and experience that you would share with somebody in the audience who, you know, who's got to face a speaking challenge, or opportunity?
John Bates 6:36 Well, I think that the number one insight could be to you know... I'll say it like this: "It's all about connecting your commitment to how you show up to give that talk".
And I think that some of the best advice I ever got, as a public speaker, came from two different sources. I got the same advice twice, but it was said totally differently, from totally different people.
One is Snoop Doggy dog, and I'm not even kidding a little bit. D, o, double g, dog, and he said, "Don't be nervous, be at their service".
And that's just brilliant, you know, and the other one was one of the top leadership coaches anywhere in the world. Her name was Candace.
And she said, "John, if you get up on stage, and you have your attention on yourself, then you have your attention on a minor ball of petty concerns, that's of no real interest to anyone but you". Ouch. But it's true.
She said, "If, however, you get up on stage, and you have your attention on the audience, and the difference that you're going to make for them, and the difference they'll make with the people in their lives because of it. Well, now you have your attention on something worth thinking about."
'Don't be nervous, be at their service".
And that whole thing of really getting clear on why you're standing up, because it's dangerous. It's dangerous to get noticed by the group. It's dangerous to be a leader or public speaker.
Look what happened to Jesus and Joan of Arc, and Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy and Socrates, right? The list goes on.
So, if you're going to take that risk anyway, right? It's not about fearlessness, that'll get you killed. It's about courage, stepping through your fear, because something matters more to you.
So to really get yourself connected to why you're even doing this. And to make really sure that it's not the selfish reason that you're doing this. But it's really the connected, make a difference reason... that just changes everything.
Andrew Hryniewicz 8:51 Okay, well, I think you just answered Question number four.
John Bates 8:55 There you go.
Andrew Hryniewicz 8:56 You know, what made the greatest impact in your development?
John Bates 9:01 Yeah, that advice, just completely changed my life. It completely changed my whole experience of myself, as a speaker, as a leader. It changed how I approach everything.
It changed that, you know, backstage jitters, I now call "excitement" instead of nervous. Because I'm not focused on me anymore. I'm focused on them. And now it's excitement. It just changed everything.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:26 Right. So question number five, what free resource would you like to share with the audience to help them out?
John Bates 9:33 You know, I do a weekly "FREE Mini Training". And I really, I just I pour myself into that and I really want that to be a valuable resource.
And why I think it's so important is because if someone were to register for that, get that free weekly thing and check in with it. I send it out Sunday mornings, you know, usually in your local time.
And if they get that, and they check in with it on Sunday morning, then they maybe make a little yellow sticky note that says, "Hey, here's the concept for this week, and they put it someplace where they see it".
And it will keep their head in the game of really excellent communication. And everything else they do, every result they achieve, everything they accomplish comes out of their communication.
So to have this one free resource, that's a good nugget every week that will keep your head in the game of communication. I just think that's super valuable. And I would love to offer that to all of your listeners. Okay, take me up on it.
Andrew Hryniewicz 10:42 Yeah. So what's, what's the URL?
John Bates 10:44 They can go to bit.ly/johnbates. No caps, No, nothing. Just all John Bates small. So bit.ly/johnbates.
Andrew Hryniewicz 11:00 Okay, great. And that we'll also be in the show notes.
So last question, John. Number six, what should I have asked you that I didn't ask you?
John Bates 11:10 Well, if you want to ask me about my first time on the TED stage?
Andrew Hryniewicz 11:15 Yeah. What was that like?
John Bates 11:18 Well, I blew it, Andrew. I blew it on just about every front that there is to blow it on. And I didn't even realise that I had blown it for quite a while.
And so, thankfully, they still loved me. And they invited me to speak again at TED. I was not on the main stage, it was on a side stage. But still, to get the opportunity to go back on a side stage after blowing it so badly, was a really great thing.
And just so that it's not just me saying that. I can give you a couple of quick lessons out of that. And by the way, if people search "John Bates TED fail", they'll find my article that I wrote about it.
But the number one mistake I made...
And this is not just a mistake at TED--but it is one of the cardinal sins at TED because it does not work with people--is I gave that TED Talk with an eye towards increasing my visibility as an expert.
And establishing my thought leadership... and selling, you know, who I was... and getting people to think I was awesome.
I didn't go share the thing that I thought would make the most difference for the audience. I mean, I sort of tried, and I think I was kind of in the realm of it.
But where I was coming from, was being focused on me, right? I forgot, "Don't be nervous, be at their service".
And I think that what really works when it comes to public speaking anywhere, especially at TED, but you can take the lessons from TED anywhere.
Don't wait for TED, you know. You don't have to wait for a TED talk. Go give an awesome, "TED like talk" anywhere, and it'll make a difference.
It really... it can't be for you, you know. It has to be a gift. You've got to give the best of yourself to the audience. And when you do that, it has a funny way of selling more of your books.
But if you go up on stage at any of these things and your goal is to sell your book, my experience is it doesn't turn out well. Having made that mistake myself.
Andrew Hryniewicz 13:29 Yeah, that's a powerful insight. And the point is, it came up with an a previous guest, basically, that's what servant leadership is really about. It's not about being a doormat, but it's about, you know, being of service to something larger than yourself.
John Bates 13:47 Yes. Absolutely.
Andrew Hryniewicz 13:50 And I remember years ago, reading was Max du Pree book "Leadership Jazz". And he said, "The job of a leader is to set the vision and say, Thank you".
John Bates 14:02 Yeah, you know, I mean, I liken it to finding the best people. And then giving them the job, giving them some support. And then standing back and going, "Good job! Good job. Excellent".
And if they need some help in other areas, help them but, you know, I couldn't agree more.
Andrew Hryniewicz 14:23 Well, John, that was perfect. Thank you so much for your time today.
John Bates 14:26 You're super welcome, Andrew, it's a pleasure to spend time with you.
Narrator 14:32 Thanks for listening to the Destiny Awakening Interviews. If you have a friend who would benefit please share, and subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave a review. We really appreciate it. And remember, always use your power for good
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Get free resources and insider offers
Join the show list to get the latest episodes, as well as free gifts and resources from our guests
(Ones that non-members don't get.)
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.
WHAT WE'RE ABOUT
For executives, professionals, leaders seeking careers and lives of fulfilment, purpose and impact.
Each week you get a short (7-9 min) chat with an expert in peak performance, optimal health, inner growth and real purpose.
The interviews are designed to help you do meaningful work, feel vital and alive again, and be respected and rewarded for your vision and values.
‘Trusting Relationships’ Waldo Waldman, Sep 23
‘The Game Of Work’ Terry McDougall, Sep 30
‘Nurturing Belonging’ Kelly Meerbott, Oct 7
‘Device Free & Happy’ Marcey Rader, Oct 14
‘TED-Worthy Leaders’ Jon Bates, Oct 21
Andrew Wayfinder is on a mission to make everyone's career and life more fulfilling, rewarding and meaningful in our changing, and challenging world.
Since 2011, he has used his unique background (architect, psycho-therapist, shamanic healer) to help 175+ executives and leaders (in corporate, creative, academic and scientific settings) create lives and careers they love.
Author of Free your Soul, founder of Destiny Awakening and the Wayfinder Path, Andrew has spoken at MindValley U, been on BBC Radio and interviewed in OmYoga Magazine.
Andrew lives in London, UK (where he enjoys cooking, cycling, art museums and galleries) and he works with clients in the US, Europe, UK and Asia.