Joshua Spodek Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Joshua Spodek
Joshua Spodek is our guest today on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview.
He is a man who is joining a merry bunch of former guests who have appeared on the show twice, back on episode 271
He is Inc. columnist, Professor of leadership, entrepreneurship, and hustling, and Entrepreneur, MBA, Astrophysics PhD, studied with Nobel Laureates and also swam across the Hudson River and almost drowned in the process.
Yep, you thought he was really clever up to that point didn’t you!
As he told us last time on the show “I do what I love in life and do my best to cut out what I don’t. Loving what you do means you will do more than if you don’t, so I’ve accomplished a few things to high levels while enjoying the process.
I’ve also made my life easy and fun. I think anyone can. In fact I think making life easy and fun is easy and fun, so love what you do while accomplishing more than you thought you could too.”
And it certainly seems that he is a man of his word.
How The Dots Joined Up For Joshua
And now he is bringing his experience to the world in written form after converting a course that he has taught for years with the soon to be released book Leadership Step by Step
This is a book that offers that rare breed of learning—genuine, authentic, effective, engaging, and, most of all, fun. It is based on the best leadership philosophy and practice.
As it says on the book “The results of doing its exercises insure that you will become an authentic, great leader, able to serve and to live to the best of your ability. Anyone who aspires to lead, to lead more effectively, or to live life to its fullest would benefit from Joshua’s exercises.
This is true for business, public service, the social sector, the arts, education, and any sphere where leaders serve.”
So how has he managed to bring the word “fun” to the forefront of his business, when so many people think that this is for the weekend, or for kids?
And is he a trailblazer for this, or is there more and more leadership experts looking at the “F” word as something that is how we should all be operating?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show once more to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Joshua Spodek
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Joshua Spodek such as:
Joshua explains the difference between management and leadership and why it is so important in business to use “emotions” to convey the importance of a task.
Why building connections that are meaningful are the number one way to build success not just in business, but also on a personal level
Why everyone should realise that they have to go through low level skills to get the success they desire, before they can ever get to the high levels that bring the big successes.
Why he is now willing to embrace the bigger markets, social media and online publication like never before, due to going through the journey that got him ready to shine!
Joshua Spodek Books
How To Connect With Joshua Spodek
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Full Transcription Of Joshua Spodek Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:33]
Yes. Good morning, everybody. Good morning to another unfilled, sexually fueled probably episode of Join Up Dots. It’s gonna be a good one today because we have got a guest on who is joining a married bunch of former guests who have appeared on the show twice. Now he was on the show back on episode 271. And things have changed in Join Up Dots land back in those days. I used to have to try to you know, get people out. used to beg them to come on the show. I used to sleep with them. I used to provide services. I don’t want to go into any more. But this guest he was quite polite and he said yeah, okay, that sounds good. He’s coming on again because he’s got some more a bigger bigger plans and so better work to actually expand on so we’re going to get into it but that’s sort of introduce you to him. He is the ink columnist, Professor of leadership, entrepreneurship and hassling and entrepreneur, MBA astrophysicist, PhD, he studied with a Nobel laureate and also swam across the Hudson River, and almost drowned in the process yet, he thought he was really clever up to that point in here. Now, as he told us last time on the show, I do what I love in life, and I do my best to cut out what I don’t so loving what you do means you’ll do more than if you don’t. So I’ve accomplished a few things to high levels, while enjoying the process. I’ve also made my life easy and fun, and I think anyone can in fact, I think making life easy and fun is easy and fun. So love what you do while accomplishing more than you thought. You You could, and it certainly seems that he’s a man of his word. And now he’s bringing his experience to the world in written form. After converting a course that he’s taught for years with a soon to be released book leadership step by step. Now this is a book that offers that rare breed of learning, genuine, authentic, effective, engaging, and most of all fun, it’s based on the best leadership philosophies and practice out there. As it says on the book, the results of doing its exercises ensure that you will become an authentic, great leader able to serve and to live the best of your ability. Anyone who aspires to lead to lead more effectively or to live life to its fullest would benefit from these exercises. Now, this is true for business, public service, a social sector, the arts, education, and any sphere when leaders serve. So how has he managed to bring the word fun to the forefront of his business when so many people think that this is for the weekend or for kids? And is he a trailblazer for this? Or is there more and more leadership experts looking at the F word as something that we should all be operating in. Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show once more to start joining up even more dots with the one and only Mr. Joshua Spodek. Good morning, Joshua. How are you, sir?
Joshua Spodek [3:14]
Good morning, David. I’m great. You know, you know what the problem is with doing only audio is you can’t see how big the smile is on my face. It’s and it’s not just because you’re saying flattering things and that you’re saying things that are funny, like I didn’t almost drowned. I kind of thought it might have. But also at the beginning, it just brought back talking to before and how how great a time that was. And when you quoted that classic. Wow, you really got great. I really have to say, I really enjoyed the conversation I had with you before it stuck with me. And that’s why I felt so good. And then then you started telling the jokes and maybe this smile even bigger. But yeah, thank you.
David Ralph [3:55]
It’s an absolute honour to have you on the show a second time and Joshua, can I start Can I start long? Time. Did I sleep with you, sir? They don’t have to do things to you to get you on the show.
Joshua Spodek [4:06]
I do. I do have to say that. I mean, I was just reading this article by Monica Lewinsky. Yeah. When I might run for public service one day.
David Ralph [4:16]
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Okay, we keep no secrets behind scenes. It’s just be you and me. But now it’s an absolute delight to have you on the show for the second time. Because, yeah, the last time it was one of those conversations, and if you haven’t listened to it, people, you’ve missed a good one. So go back to Episode 271. But it was one of those episodes where I thought I was going to be talking about a subject and we never really got near it at all. It was very much about you, finding your own path through where other people could have easily sort of, um, pushed you onto their path, but you’ve been very sort of bloody minded to go the way that you want to, is that sort of where leadership comes from actually knowing maybe it’s not right but it’s right for me. So I’m going to do that.
Joshua Spodek [5:02]
I, well, I have to say you’re picking up on a thread that’s been very important in my life and a lot of people talk about, I’ve done lots of different things swimming across the Hudson going to North Korea a couple times. And you know, things like that. A lot of people don’t do all the what’s the choice of leadership? I think leadership is a topic like I’ve learned that you could take classes and leadership in business school. So I don’t think that’s a rare topic. What I think is, the thread that you talked about about my doing my thing with that applies is how I’ve taken it in a direction that I don’t I just have not seen anybody else do. And I, you know, when I read when I finished business school, I had a pretty good knowledge of what leadership was about, I knew the principles of leadership, practising it, on the other hand, is another story and a lot of people, a lot of people that have the experience that I have, which is like you, you know, you read the books, you know what to do, but then when it comes time to doing it, reading about something doesn’t really prepare you for it. And so I spent a good five years delving into everything and then another five years after that of figuring out, how do you teach this stuff, because you cannot lecture integrity into someone you cannot lecture. genuineness and authenticity into someone, you can’t watch a video and pick up emotional skills, you have to interact with other people. And so I was, you know, I was not, I was not a socially and emotionally aware person. I spent a lot of time Friday nights in college and a library and at Columbia, you could hear like the library is across the street from the fraternity. So I was in there like studying and I could hear the parties and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to go to the parties. I didn’t know who to. I didn’t how to get invited. Yeah, so all this stuff came later and so that I think what you’re talking about of blazing a trail or doing what I felt was appropriate, was figuring out How to do something that just wasn’t available to me in an area that I think a lot of other people, maybe it came natural to them or maybe they, you know, didn’t start off as geeky as me. And so to take it to the level that I have, and I’m not saying like, I’m not, I’m not like Nelson Mandela here. But as a teacher, I think, I don’t think that there’s another teacher or book or video or resource or anything out there that that goes in the direction I’ve gone that gets. And I don’t think any of the direction is going to take is going to get the results that I get. Now the thing about it is,
David Ralph [7:35]
yeah, we see leadership step by step. Okay. So that’s the sort of tagline but I have been through corporate gigs. I have lived a life I’m coming up 47 years old. I know you probably can’t believe that Joshua, but I am and I have met very few leaders. I have met lots of very bad managers and a lot of people get confused between management and leadership. Why is a kind of, you know, an easy philosophy where people can go, Oh, I understand the difference. Now I understand what Joshua is bringing to the table.
Joshua Spodek [8:07]
Well, there are a lot of differences and the core one to me, is that a leader, we’re okay, a carpenter works with, like saws and drills and hammers, and build stuff with wood, a plumber works with wrenches and build stuff with pipes. a programmer works with computers, and works with programming languages and keyboards, and they work with computers. A leader works with emotions and motivations and works with people. A manager works with external incentives and works with like moral systems. I mean, there’s what systems to but like, a manager will tell you, if you do this job, well, you’ll get a bonus if you do it poorly. You might get demoted. A leader will behave in ways that and then communicate in ways that you will share what you care about. And so the leader will understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and we’ll connect those motives To the tattoo, so that you will want to do them for yourself. Not necessarily for some external reason. So a manager, a great manager will become, I don’t know how this translates into the UK, but a great manager may be very effective at the Department for motor vehicles, like the quintessential bureaucracy here. And they might get, they might get people to work very effectively. But if I work on a project with someone, and I want them to be to sell, and that person doesn’t feel that they’re a salesperson, you can’t manage someone into become a great salesperson, you might be able to say, you know, you’ll get a big bonus if you sell really well. A leader, if I, you know, if I have a startup and I want and you’re like employee number two and like, Look, we gotta we gotta do everything I can get you to sell. I can find out what you care about and say, Look, I can’t really do it right now. I mean, I have to work with the person, but I can work with the person and get them to feel like I want to sell and, you know, I probably won’t People listen to this, if you haven’t sold, it’s really hard to be a salesperson. But if you can, a leader can get that out of someone. And it’s not just sales, you know, it can be lots of different things.
Unknown Speaker [10:09]
So it can work with emotions.
David Ralph [10:12]
Yeah, that’s what I was gonna come to. So, emotions, we all have emotions. And more often than not especially men in the United Kingdom, we kind of suppress our emotions. But is it as simple of saying, if we can get somebody excited about doing something, then we’re on the right track. It’s like I was talking Join Up Dots about the Martin Luther King, you know, I have a dream, which is so powerful and we remember it and we don’t remember anything else. He said it was just that bit basically. And if he stood up and went, I have a four part business plan. Probably not as many people would have turned up to that speech because it touched in something to the human essence. So is it that we should really be touching in on emotions all the way along the line or can it get us into trouble comm can now emotion Run Ryan is he controlled emotions by his leadership?
Joshua Spodek [11:04]
So I want to, I want to give two answers here. The first is that when I was growing up in the 70s emotions were viewed especially for men. It was like, you were either macho, or sensitive New Age guy. Yeah. And macho guys were like, looked at emotions is like soft and weak. And like, what’s that? And since of New Age guys, where they were soft and weak, and this is, you know, from a leadership perspective, it’s, that’s not the way you look at it at all. It’s like emotions are something we have I come at it from a more practical scientific perspective. I mean, my knowledge of it comes from a scientific perspective, but my using emotions as they work they’re effective. We all have emotion, mean even when you call them it’s not just anger and love and hate and rage. There’s also calmness and satisfaction. And if someone is like, why is someone at the job that they are if if they’re there because they want to provide for their family, or they want to compete with their best friends. They want to make their father proud. Those are emotions. Those are motivation, you know, to provide for your family. It’s, you know, I don’t think it’s soft and weak to like love your children, or to feel like you want to put a roof over their heads and clothe them and feed them. And if you think that the reason someone is there is because they want to get paid, when the reason they’re getting paid is they want to provide for their family. It’s much more effective if you can connect what they really want to do what they really want to achieve the task at hand if what they really want to do is to demonstrate to the Father that they’ve they’ve become the person that the Father has wanted them to be. When you that’s, that’s a deep emotion, it’s very powerful. If you can connect that to the task. That’s gonna motivate someone much more effectively than saying, I’m gonna give you a bonus and not connecting to what that motivation is. And if on top of that, you step on that emotion if you say you can, I’m going to give you a vacation and I’m going to give you lots of thing if you do this well, but what they really want to do is something else, you’re implying to them that you don’t care about this thing. And what happens when if I step on your emotions, if I act like your emotions aren’t important, you’re going to act like, well, if you don’t care about me, I don’t care about you. I don’t, I’m not going to listen to you. And that leads to a lot of people not not feeling appreciated. And then they then they’re working just for the paycheck. They’re clock watcher, they don’t really get into the work. Now I started answering that I forgot what the second part of what I was going to say was because
David Ralph [13:30]
the question I was asking was the second part, I suppose was, it doesn’t have to be controlled emotions can can you go into a situation as a leader and be all over the shop? You know what I’m passionate and next minute, very calm. Does it have to be controlled?
Joshua Spodek [13:48]
Yes, on a very, it may sound like a subtle distinction, but very important. We talked about getting the person very excited. Now, most people if they’re listening to this show, they’re listening Are voices. They care about what they do. And it means that they’re in an environment with everyone around them probably cares about what they do, if you interview to get where you are, if you worked hard to get good grades or to, you know, to go through rounds of interviews to work where you are, if you care about what you do, you have the emotion there and the people around you have that motivation. The question is, most people see if you know what I care about, that exposes a vulnerability. So most people prefer not to be vulnerable. So they prefer not to share what they care about. What I find is more effective and leadership is not to try to create emotions or to make emotions more intense, they’re already there. It’s to lower the defences to make people feel comfortable sharing what they already care about. And the way to do that is to make them to behave and communicate in ways that they see that they share what they care about. You won’t manipulate them, you won’t hurt them. They won’t use them. Because and why don’t Not show this in, we’ve all been hurt, we’ve all been laughed out. We’ve all been humiliated. You know, and and when our hearts were broken, our hearts weren’t broken by a casual acquaintance is someone that we opened up with from someone that we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable with. So what I find most effective is not to try to create or intensify emotions, because they’re already there. It’s to let the person feel comfortable sharing what those emotions are, and then connecting them with the path. And the response that you generally see when you do that, is that the person has this expression of like, finally I can do what I wanted to do for all the reasons I was wanting to it’s more like an unleashing.
David Ralph [15:39]
So empathy and understanding is potentially You know, I’m not gonna blow my own trumpet, but of course I am because it’s my show and it’s recording. But I always was a better leader than a manager. I always made sure that the people wanted to do the task, because then the task would take care of itself. That’s That’s why I always saw it. So I spent so much time just doing this. The nice things if somebody needed an arm and a shoulder, I would do that if somebody needed a kick up the backside, I would do that. And it was very much every single person got a different me. And it wasn’t a blanket approach. But it always worked fantastically well. And I still meet people today, you know, 30 years down the line, who said, you know, even though he was a young guy, I wanted to work for you, I believed in you. And it was because I try to bridge that connection between what they were going through and my understanding every single time I didn’t do a blanket approach. And I’ve kind of brought back into Join Up Dots as well. It’s that kind of personal connection, which is so important. You’ve got to make sure that that other person feels like they’re centre of your world. Would that be right?
Joshua Spodek [16:49]
Yeah, and you’re very effective at it. I mean, people who are listening to this won’t get the same reaction that I did when you were describing me at the beginning. I mean, some of the stuff you’re saying was stuff that You the stuff that’s easily available on my website to find out, but some of it was not. And I was like, This guy, I don’t know if people will be able to get this. I felt like this guy really cares about talking to me. And that opens me up, it makes me feel understood. And when you feel understood, you don’t feel like you have to prove anything you want to cooperate with the person. Very effective. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know where you got it from. But, you know, a lot of people, the big challenge for a lot of people is getting over these concerns and like, Am I gonna feel weak? And are people gonna think I’m weak or that they can take advantage of me if I’m not like a hard ass, but that’s developing the skills is. It’s hard, very hard for a lot of people and you know, a lot of professors in schools, especially the more elite universities to get there. I mean, we all know the phrase publish or perish. They’ve been doing all these academic things. So a lot of people they haven’t done the stuff of the social emotional challenges you have to overcome to
that I find that you have to do in order to
empathise with the other person to see things from their perspective.
David Ralph [18:05]
Well, one of the things that I do Joshua and a lot of podcasters out there and radio hosts say to me, oh, you should have a team to do is I do all my research myself, I always write the introductions, I go around, and I look at stuff and I, I connect the dots mentally, so I get a picture of that person before they come through. And more often than not, it’s pretty accurate. Sometimes I might be slightly off track, but we can sort of ease through an episode to get there. But it is so important to actually do that work myself because otherwise, I’m gonna be coming in cold, I need to, I think we’re coming back to that connection. Again, we need to build the connection before we even connect, so to speak, so that you have an understanding of who you’re dealing with. Because, you know, I’ve never met you. We’ve spoken twice. Now. You’re one side of the pond. I’m the other side of the pond. But I can guarantee if I walked down a pub and I saw you there, it’d be exactly the same. It would have to be that exactly the same, because it’s not situation. It’s not location. It’s people. And that ties back to emotion, doesn’t it?
Joshua Spodek [19:08]
Yeah. And people is is such a key element of it. And what I hear you describing is passion for what you’re doing. And a lot of people come to me, they say, you know, I don’t have a passion. I don’t maybe have a couple passions, I’m not sure which one to do. And so I’m kind of hedging on all of them. And when you and you know, I had this, the last quarter, my book is on leading others. And a lot of the stuff is on how to make meaningful connections with people how to empathise with people, and I teach empathy is a skill that you can learn like riding a bike. And so the exercises that I give people are to go out and make meaningful connections with people and I give them a very specific script of here’s what to do. It’s not small talk, and it’s how to connect with people. And I give them a script, because most people, you know, you know, they first think well, script isn’t going to stop Exactly. gonna sound like, like fake. But I point out, you know, actors give 100 actors the same script, everyone’s going to do it uniquely, it’s always going to be unique. The bigger thing is that people say, am I going to get bored? Am I going to just have the same conversation over and over again? And it’s the opposite. It’s exactly what you said, which is, every person is so their own person that when you talk you, like when you get someone sharing whom they are they, you can’t you never get bored. Because you Everyone has so interesting stuff to say when you get past those protection. If you’re just talking about the weather, sports, you know, current events, yeah, then you’ll be bored. When you get to people talking about their passions. You get people sharing what they normally don’t share, and they start saying things like, wow, I normally didn’t tell people this. And I didn’t think of it that way. But yeah, and let me tell you about this thing. I really care about that thing that they really care about that they don’t usually share people share with people You’re gonna really enjoy hearing about.
David Ralph [21:02]
I’m going to tell you how I do this. And I’ve never shared this before on Join Up Dots. But this is how I do and you can go back over the episodes and you can sort of like, see whether I’m telling the truth. But basically, when I’m doing an interview, I will do two or three questions to get the guest to talk. And then I will show a throw in a story about myself to bridge bat. And then I look for common ground stories as well. So it’s always like, as you said, about the Martin Luther King and sort of bringing in stuff where we can, once again build those connections. So it’s always two or three for the guests, one of mine and one common ground and I find that it’s a great way and it doesn’t just work on podcasts, it works in dates and relationships. You know, you go down into a pub and you meet a lovely lady or a lovely fella, and you pay more attention to them. But also bring your own stories in as well. You will have a great night. Absolutely you you’ll be making babies by the end of the evening. Just
Joshua Spodek [22:01]
And people who think that that structure makes it stilted, miss the difference between content and structure, the structure when you take care of that part. And that works. You don’t want to you don’t want to meet someone to have radically different ways of communicating. I mean, sometimes, but generally, it’s you want to get to the core of who is this person? what makes them tick. That’s what’s really awesome. And geek that I was before I thought you had to do something radically different and it it never work. And then you get the structure, and it works so well. And yeah, I’m glad to hear that you’ve got something that works. It took me so long. It didn’t take a long time together. How did you how’d you come up with the structure? I always had it.
David Ralph [22:44]
This is the weird thing people say to me, oh, you know, you was always going to be doing what you’re doing now. And it was a surprise to me that I’ve gone into this route. He really did. But that ability to connect with people I’ve always had that. Ever since I was a small child. I’ve always been the guy But if the new kid came into school, I was the one that would look after them and make them feel sort of relaxed and at ease. And it wasn’t until I started doing this. And it’s funny when you kind of deconstruct anything, I’ve got a course called interview masterclass where I teach people how to be a podcasting master and sort of interview in a certain way. And people kept on asking for it. And I thought, I don’t know, I don’t know how to do this. I just kind of do it. And so once I started sort of breaking it down and listening back to my shows, I could then start to see the structure. And when I thought about it, I thought, Oh, yeah, I’ve always done that. But I just couldn’t actually put it into, you know, a written page or a video to explain it. But now I’ve got it, I think yeah, it’s quite easy, really. Two of them one of myself and one common ground and it really does sort of breach all areas.
Joshua Spodek [23:50]
So even Can you go back to even when you were a kid, did you I mean, when you’re a kid and you are going up to people would Did you even have that structure then? I mean, did you ever have a time that you didn’t have it?
David Ralph [24:00]
No, I think mentally mentally I’ve always had it. And it’s, it’s why I’ve always you know, I’ve been married it’s my anniversary today at 14 years and thank you very much and we’ve been together sort of 25 years it’s been a few years before we actually got married. And before then yeah, you know, there was there were ladies in my life Joshua and I never understood why people couldn’t you know, talk to ladies they always used to say to me Oh, I can’t talk to girls and I said why why they’re just you know, people and I never had that issue at all. And once again, looking back on it I can see that there was this underwritten structure but I always did which basically it was me being more interested in VM van myself. Yeah, you can sort of like spark it up and appropriate humour in and different things, which always goes a long way. But yeah, I think that that kind of mentor to one one set up has always been in me all the way through and I’ve used it to great effect. Now when my life has gone a bit sort of passion. As we say, in the United Kingdom, more often than not, it was when I started focusing in on myself. Yeah, that job looks good, that’s gonna pay a lot of money Oh at that job, or, you know, when I’d gone away from providing value to people and become the greedy person, that’s when I went into jobs that weren’t right for me. That’s when the the success I was building almost killed me. You know, there’s loads of sort of bad stories, but I can look back on it. And it’s always if you show more attention to other people provide value to them first, then ultimately, you’re going to get the success.
Joshua Spodek [25:34]
What would you said greedy? I bet. Would you cut would you use the word self indulgent there?
David Ralph [25:40]
I think I believe my own myth, if you know what I mean. I think I was on a ladder that wasn’t right for me. And I thought if I got to the top, the dream would be there. I think I was playing somebody else’s game. I don’t know if it was self indulgent, but I think it was certainly buying into what was it Expected ultimately without being totally authentic to myself.
Joshua Spodek [26:04]
Okay, yeah, it’s it. That’s the, you know, so many people that will leave a society gives you so many messages of like, I don’t know, to me and maybe the route it’s, you know, get a good job, get a good house, get a good card, then you’ll be happy. And, you know, no, that’s not right at all. No, that’s absolutely just a message to get you to buy things. And it’s very effective at that. But it leaves a lot of people high and dry. The way that you describe that makes me it really reinforces a view that I’ve had for a long time that people who are who appear to be natural at social skills are not different than anyone else. It’s not like you’re superhuman. And what you’re describing is something that anyone could do it happens that you have practised at it with you is am I right? that anyone could do what you do?
David Ralph [26:53]
Yes, I think so. But it takes time. I think it takes time and practice. You know, I’m 47 years old and I’ve been doing army life now. And it’s only now that I’ve found an environment that really works. You know, funnily enough one to one is my thing. I’m really good at one to one in front of a crowd and audience, I’m very good bear. But that kind of party atmosphere when you’ve got to mingle and do small talk, I find that very difficult. And I think that’s because it falls between the cracks of where my talents are. I’m very good at sort of building those connections. But when there’s too many small connections, it leaves me high and dry somehow. Does that make sense to you?
Joshua Spodek [27:31]
Yeah. And now, one of the big lessons I try to get all my students to get is that if you see someone who has skills that you don’t have, they learned it somehow. And so if you met someone who was really skilled at the mingling at parties, I bet that if you talk to them a bunch, then you would find out what I bet they have a structure like you that they that what they’re doing is a specific thing. And yeah, it might take practice for you because you haven’t practised it. But wouldn’t you expect If you found someone who is effective at it that you know, it takes them time to deconstruct it, maybe if they were natural at it like you were, or if they are, don’t you expect that they would have some answer like you? Like what they’re doing is like maybe it’s not a two on one I forget the exact numbers you said. But I think so.
David Ralph [28:19]
Yeah, they may not be outputted and answer it at the first question, because it’s just natural. But if I get enough people asking that you can always deconstruct it, you always can.
Joshua Spodek [28:32]
So here’s a leader. Exactly. So you can always that’s an extremely empowering perspective, or mental model or belief is that if I worked with them enough, and here’s a leadership task, if you wanted to be really good at mingling, you could go to someone find a and lead, motivate them to find out what that that what they’re actually doing, and they’ll they’ll be really glad to share with you. Oh, I see. I’ve been doing this. I’ve been Doing that I’ve been doing this, that’s really cool. Thank you for bringing that that out and you’ll hear from them what their technique is, then you’ll have to practice and practice and practice. But since you’re already effective at related skills, it probably won’t take you that long. And then you’ll have the ability to mingle. And you will have had someone that you lead into, you’ll have led someone into teaching how to do it, and that person will feel thankful to you for having brought out in them something that they always knew about themselves, but didn’t really know because there’s something if they’re good out there, they have that motivation. They have some passion. And now you’ve connected that passion to teaching you.
David Ralph [29:41]
Now, the interesting thing about this Joshua is a course when you look at a book that says leadership, step by step, so many people would think, okay, that’s the business. Okay, I work in a call centre, I’m in a cubicle, I’m not going to be a leader. But actually this is a fundamental life changing book that came pivot your life in so many different directions socially, emotionally, professionally, leadership really is because, you know, we come back and we circle around again. But it comes back to emotions and we’ve all got emotions. It’s just using the right emotions in the right place, isn’t it?
Joshua Spodek [30:18]
Yeah, I mean, a lot of people, they associate leadership with a guy in a suit. Or, you know, all these movies with Tommy Lee Jones. in them. There’s a scene where he’s like, Alright, the fugitives on the loose. You set a perimeter. 10 miles, you talk to every person who whatever, you know, you go to do this and get the clues and all her like, Yes, sir. Right away, and they all run off and go and do it. Or like, you know, that’s very dramatic. It looks cool. Very rarely happens in life. Leadership is. I mean, if your parents have kids, that’s leadership. If you have a spouse, that’s leadership. I mean, you mentioned Martin Luther King, not a businessman, Nelson Mandela, not a businessman. Winfrey Well, she’s a businesswoman. But it’s, you know, what makes her a great leader? Well, it’s I think it’s a business acumen, but also look at it on the screen. You know, she’s incredible at getting people to do things that most people wouldn’t. These are all aspects of leadership. And if you put that all these different aspects of leadership, and you dismiss them all as like, Oh, I don’t, I’m not trying to be CEO, I don’t want to tell people what to do. You’re missing, connecting on people what they want to connect on most all the relationships in your life, have the potential to be meaningful, what I mean this meaning, meaningful purpose, value important. These things come from the emotions that come out of people in what they do. I mean, if you want a task to be meaningful, connect the emotions to it. If you want to be on meaningful, that’s easy, make it all about the money. And if you’re trapped in that view, then you’re you’re what you’re missing is, is you’re missing the most valuable, meaningful, purposeful parts of life.
David Ralph [32:00]
Bring the lady onto the show herself. you’ve alluded to her. She’s got some powerful words. Let’s listen to them again. Here’s Oprah,
Oprah Winfrey [32:07]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this too. But what is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you, because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [32:38]
Now, I was wondering whether to play that but at its essence, again, she’s talking about emotions, just sit back, be quiet, look into yourself, and then the answers will come. What is the big stumbling point for your students where most of them or maybe that’s a sweeping statement, but I would say most people go into sort of studies They almost want the answers to be there in a book, or a website or a screen. And when you’re almost throwing it back at them and saying, look, the answers are within yourself, what is the hardest part about them to actually tap into that?
Joshua Spodek [33:14]
So, you know, I’m glad you asked that question perfectly matches with with, with what Oprah said, in the following way, from my perspective is that what she said is is tremendous. I mean, obviously, she’s been through a lot and she’s taken taking things very far. And I would say from the perspective of someone who wants to improve their leadership, that’s very advanced stuff. It’s stuff that is useful way down the road, or the beginning it gives you direction. And it’s like a milestone that you you will one day reach to be able to work on that level. What holds people back at the beginning is very low level instruction of how to do what, what the thing is that has to be done. So it more concrete. I’ve been blogging every day for the past six or seven years. And why did I not start blogging before I wanted to start blogging before that the reason I didn’t? Wasn’t that, you know, people told me you should blog and I’m approaching 2500 posts, you can tell, I like to write. So why didn’t I before what got me started was someone sitting down and saying, This is how WordPress works. I’m going to set up the account for you. I’m going to set up the page for you. I’m gonna make it so that you know, here’s how you press here, press there, press here, press there. And it’s the same thing if you want to learn how to play piano, if you want to. If you want to play piano, you probably want to express yourself through the music. You want to be emotional, you want to be expressive, you want to be free. You don’t want to be robotic. But look at anyone who plays Carnegie Hall stage. How do they begin? They begin by someone telling them this is a C major scale. Put your thumb here, put your finger there, put your finger there. Put your finger there. And it’s robotic and mechanical. And yet, everyone who plays Carnegie Hall, learn the same, they start off the same way. And there’s something that happens that you have to master these low level skills in order to take them for granted that you can, when you don’t have to think about what your hand is doing, then you can think about, well, you have to go through several stages. But eventually you can get to the point where you can express yourself through what you’re doing. And that low level instruction, here’s how to get started. That’s why I give people scripts. That’s why I give people exercises that are like, do this. People do it once or twice. They’re like, I don’t get it. But people do it. Each exercise enough times, like you have to play scales enough time. Or it’s the same thing to learn a sport. If you want to play basketball, you got to play you got to do a lot of jump shots. You got to drill you got to do a lot of dribbling exercises. If you want to become an actor. You have to practice your lines a lot a lot when you know it aligns perfectly. That’s when you can express yourself through them. So that’s what I think people are missing is the what to rehearse and what to practice. So that when you master that you can express yourself through it. Now what
David Ralph [36:16]
and the interesting thing when I’m listening to you talk, I was reflecting on the Joshua that I spoke to, or hundred episodes ago and you seem a bigger version of yourself, you seem. And how can I explain this? When I spoke to you before, it seemed quite reasonable that you was a professor, you was a teacher and you spent most of your time in the classroom, you now seem to be somebody who’s embracing be getting out there getting your message out into different forms, whether it’s video, whether it’s podcasting, whether it’s written form, or whatever. That seems to me that you’ve grown into an excitement that wasn’t there a couple of years ago. Are you excited? Would I be right in that?
Joshua Spodek [36:59]
x? Yes. I’m definitely excited. There’s another way, you know, it’s unleashing it’s, I’ve always wanted to do this. It’s exactly what I was saying that I’ve practised enough that I don’t have to think as much about what I’m doing. And instead, I can I can take for granted that I’m going to express something that’s important to me, you’re saying things and like, each time, I’m thinking, you’re triggering lots of like, I could say this, or this or this or this, and I’m not trying to keep track of it. Well, one, you’re also I mean, you’re much more about listening to me and playing off of me. I feel like if you’re working off of a script, I’m not aware of it at all. I feel like you’re, you’re paying attention to me, that makes me want to express myself more. So you’re, I mean, credit to you. But also, when you are not when you don’t have to think about when you can take for granted your mastery of the lower level thing than the higher level things come out. If you If you want to be a rock star, you need to be the lead guitarist of the band. First, you have to figure out how to play the guitar. And as long as you are wondering where your fingers are on the on the fretboard, you can’t do anything more than that. And you have to practice and practice, practice until you’re so bored of it, you so know exactly where they’re going to be. And along the way, you have to develop the calluses. And you also have to worry about where your other hand is strumming. You also know that then you can start paying attention like, oh, there’s something in the music here. It’s not just technique. There’s, you know, the music, the the person who wrote the score was expressing something and so this is a happy piece and so I can be happy here. And then after you’ve played that music so many times that you know what the music if someone says, Let’s start a bar number 12. You can start by number 12. Not because you have to think about it, but because you’ve done it so many times you know it then you can start noticing. Alright, the musician, the composer wrote a happy piece but I’m not happy right now. I’m going to express my sadness. I’m going to play in a slightly different way because I know Exactly what is there. And then after that, you can get to the point where Oh, I can I can express my happiness, I can express my sadness, I can express my Glee, I can express whatever, I can express myself through this music. At that point, you can start noticing my audience is different today than it was different. And my audience, they want to be up right now. Or maybe another day, the audience wants to be more contemplative, or maybe the audience wants to be more. I don’t know, you know, I’m not a musician playing on stage but you start playing the the audience and you start, you know, only when you can tell when you know exactly what you’re going to do. Because you’ve done it so many times. It’s so many different audiences, you can listen to the audience, then you start really communicating with them. And you know, it doesn’t stop there. If you think of like, an a musician, like I don’t know, Bruce Springsteen, who plays in front of, I don’t know, 50 100,000 people 10 nights in a row or not in a robbery like 10 nights. He’s playing like, not even to the audience. You On that he’s playing to other musicians is playing to future musicians he’s playing to the industry. I mean, and we all have that Martin Luther King was speaking to 250,000 people when he did I have a dream, but he was also speaking to generations to come. That’s a level if we haven’t if you haven’t reached that level, you can, I mean, he’s like you and me. He was human as well. And to me leadership is that’s what’s so I love so much about it is that you can reach these levels, that musicians can that artists can that dancers can, you know, that level genuine, authentic expression, there’s no end to it. And to me, I you know, it to exit from an academic perspective into that experiential active way of approaching it is, you know, it’s like you said, about connecting with People and that level of connection to, I don’t know, uh, you know, here that’s beyond what I can say and why I teach experientially is that I can get people to get that through experiencing it themselves. And then it’s, you can’t express it verbally. It’s just a feeling that you get, and we’ve all gotten it. Listening to, I don’t know, Beethoven’s Ninth are looking at a Monet painting, that, that it’s from people who have been able to practice and practice and practice and rehearse and get rid of the junk that society put on top of us and be able to reach that level. It’s it’s inspiring, it’s invigorating, it deeply human. It’s passionate. It’s all the same.
David Ralph [41:41]
Yeah, I’m listening to you agree everything. I was nodding, yes. When on webcam, so you can’t see that. But you were smiling at the beginning. And I was nodding big time there because one of the things that I’ve realised through the show, at the very beginning, I said is a very different show than it was, but it’s a very different me and at the beginning I was just interested in doing a podcast. But once I got to a point, the mastery became almost obsessional. And every show it’s, I want to get better and better and better at it. And I don’t think I’ve ever had that before never. Where I will listen to podcasts, I will examine the content, I will look at the interview techniques, the nuance, the beat, and whatever, and want to just make it better the next time and better the next time. And now is where I think my own personal emotions has come into the leadership. That’s where I now want to become better and better and better so I can show other people the right way to sort of move on in their own lives is all internal, isn’t it? There’s no getting away from it. When you finally hit that passion. It’s undeniable and people respond to that passion. They can feel it before you even have to open your mouth.
Joshua Spodek [42:51]
Yeah, that’s the that’s the that transition that I talked about. It seems magical from the outside where I mean every musician every athlete, every dancer has felt that where they went from struggling to figure out where to put their feet doing the footwork or struggling with how to hit the ball if they’re playing tennis to, I mean, you look at like a doll or something like that. It’s, it’s, it’s beautiful. And once you reach that point, it’s, it’s so liberating and, and what motivates me one of the big motivations for me, but I’m not kidding myself. I know a lot of people who buy my book and who take my courses, they’re going to kind of do the exercises, and they’ll practice a little bit or a lot of people are just going to read it, and they’re not going to do the exercises. Look, I’m happy to take the money, but that’s not what I’m in this for. I’m in it for the people who are who realise that if I do these things, I will reach that point. And I will be able to, you know, be achieved in that internal thing, that passion, I’ll be able to express that that will come out to me. I was just the other day meeting with some guy. He came to one of my sessions. seminars. And now he’s partnered with this woman that they are. They’re trying to connect a design agency with their own artistic expression. And their artists. And we were speaking and I was doing my technique, my technique like yours, to get people to share what they’re what they’re really passionate about. And they were like, man, your stuff you should teach in an art school because this stuff is. It’s so we’ve been working on something and we we’ve been trying to get at it. And you just talk to us and you got it out of us. And that’s what we want to do. And now we realise what we want to do is like, yeah, that’s that. Getting from not knowing what you want. But knowing it’s there, to getting it out, through technique is incredibly powerful. And it’s so liberating. Yeah. So that what drives me is that I feel like I’ve created something to get people something to give you what artists Musicians actors they’ve had for a long time, leaders have not. And, you know, you have a few people like Martin Luther King, who have been able to, you know, he was looking at a very difficult life, obviously. But some things that worked out for him were that he, he had small challenges, followed by medium challenges followed by big challenges. The big challenge by the time he came to the big challenges he practised, and he’d had a lot of experiences to get in there. And a lot of us, sadly, our big leadership challenges hit us early. And we, they they’re too big. It’s like going out to learn to surf and you get hit by the tsunami. And people think, Oh, I just can’t do it. Whereas if they’d had a smaller challenge first and then a big, medium sized challenge, and then had the big challenge, they might have learned enough in the process to be able to handle that big thing. I think a lot of people who we all look at them think that they’re natural, and they’re just born that way. I think. I bet in most cases, they were faced with a progression of challenges that led to mastery, by chance, I think happens so rarely that we don’t see many leaders like that. You know, if you look at our, I don’t know, I mean, in the met in American culture, if you look at people who learn, learn, who learned in this way, actors and musicians and athletes were tremendous. I mean, you look at, like, a basketball game, and it’s like, they’re incredible. We have such incredible athletes and look at the Olympics and like, it’s amazing what they do.
Unknown Speaker [46:33]
Now, look at our leaders.
Joshua Spodek [46:35]
I’m not so proud of my country’s recent election. It’s pretty clear that our leadership training is not that great. It’s, it’s not it’s not as effective as as our ability to create actors and musicians and things like that. And, you know, my big thing is taking a technique that works in those areas and bring it to leadership because I think leadership has in it, everything that those other things do, of being able to reach that genuine, authentic passion. and things like that.
David Ralph [47:02]
But that’s probably the words now from a man who learned his leadership skills more out of adversity than the successes, his Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [47:10]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [47:45]
So what he’s basically saying is you’ve just got to keep on doing something you keep on doing it, it will pivot it will change direction it will it will become something until you find that passion but the star, that low level skills is the only way to find Future.
Unknown Speaker [48:01]
Yeah, totally. And analysing and just thinking about it, it’s not going to get you very far.
David Ralph [48:09]
So before we actually send you back in time, a second time on the Sermon on the mic when we get you to have a one on one with your younger self, what kind of audience? Are you hoping for your book? Are you niching? down to a certain demographic? Are you aiming for global domination? Joshua?
Joshua Spodek [48:28]
Well, I’m starting with the niche of of going toward the business audience at first. Partly that’s because my publisher amacom, and Mecca management company, is there. That’s where they have inroads and that’s where we want to start. But it’s not that I want First of all, I don’t dominate the world. I want to serve the world. I want to give people the ability to attain what they want. I’m not telling them what to do. So I do want to start with a niche of business but I really want to pass there and it’s it will be different Message to different areas. So I’m not going to try to tell you know, someone who’s going into the military, that I’m going to teach a business leadership, I want to teach leadership for that area, and you know, in relationships, personal relationships, there’s a lot of leadership in there, but it’s definitely not authority. So to move in those areas, but it’s a unique message for each niche, um, Where can the people get
David Ralph [49:21]
Joshua Spodek [49:24]
So right now it’s on pre order at Amazon, probably by the time people are listening to this, it’ll be on Amazon. So the books I mean, you’ll also be able to Can I can I tell them where to find me online?
David Ralph [49:34]
And well, we do that at the end. We do that at the end. So we’ll build up to it but at the moment, the best way would be to jump over to Amazon and Google you up.
Joshua Spodek [49:43]
Yeah, Amazon Barnes noble, you know, all the usual places.
David Ralph [49:46]
Right. Okay. Britain, right. And we’re coming back to the the social media links at the end. But this is the part that we’ve been leading up to, and this is the second time you’ve done this. So strap yourself in because it’s the bit of the show that we called a sermon on the mic when we send you back in time. Have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Joshua, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fade your app, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [50:19]
We go with the best bit of the show.
Joshua Spodek [50:37]
Okay, so this is to Josh of about two or three years ago, you’ve been writing in your blog for a while even developing a voice. You have a sense that there’s a coherent, integrated book out there that you want to write. And instead of actually starting to write it, you’re still writing on your blog, and you’re not doing promoting your blog, you’re kind of saying yourself, you know if people read it great. If not, that’s okay too. I’m really writing for myself mostly. And if people connect on it, that’s great. But you’re not doing something that you’re coaching a lot of other people through. You’re not aware. Or if you look inside you, you’ll notice that you do want to get people to read your stuff. You do want to promote it, not for self aggrandisement. But because you think that there’s value for it, you wouldn’t be writing it for any other reason you think that there’s value for other people, but look very closely, you’ll notice the reason you’re not promoting it is not because you don’t think that it’s worth promoting. You’re scared of it. People judging you and not liking it. And you’re coaching lots of people through this and you’re not actually noticing it yourself. This low level anxiety that you’re keeping that’s keeping you from trying something because you’re afraid of failing. Here’s the deal, Josh, you know, this People First of all, I know something you don’t know, when you start sharing this, you’re going to get overwhelmingly positive responses, you’re going to go out and talk to these bestselling authors. And they’re going to write blurbs from the back of your book that are better than you could have hoped for. But even if you’re not ready for that yet, even if your writing still has to improve, and people come back and tell you that your writing it sucks. You will improve faster because of that. Josh, it’s worth it. Take the risk. put yourself out there. Allow yourself to be judged. Take that vulnerability of you know, you can you’ll you are resilient, you can handle it. If it goes well right now. Great. You’ll get started faster, you’ll be able to serve people that you want to serve faster. If not, you’ll also get there faster because you’ll get advice that you can act on now. Put it out there. Take the risk.
David Ralph [52:50]
Right stuff so Mr. Joshua smo Deke, how is the best way but our audience can connect with you.
Joshua Spodek [52:57]
So my personal blog, which is writing about, you know, the world and leadership and personal fitness and things like that. That’s Joshua spoto. calm. And as I mentioned, I posted every day since I think 2010 or 2011. So approaching 2500 posts, then for my Take, take my courses and the professional stuff that’s at Spotify Academy comm SPO. dk is how to spell my last name. And on Twitter, I’m Spotify. And if you want to look up, like what people are writing about me, there’s lots of press and things like that. So if you just look up Spotify, there’s not many people. So go to DuckDuckGo, or whatever your search engine is. And there’s lots of stuff that will come up and write stuff, just contact me. Also, if you want to contact me, you know, there’s a contact section on on both of those pages, and I’m happy to build emails from people.
David Ralph [53:48]
Great stuff. Josh, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have even more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths, it’s the best way To build our futures Joshua, thank you so much.
Joshua Spodek [54:04]
The pleasure is all mine. Thank you very much.
David Ralph [54:08]
Joshua Spodek. Oh, dang. Yes, Episode 271 and 653 of Join Up Dots. I love that episode. I actually said to him afterwards, I felt excited as I was talking about leadership and passion and finding your thing because it is when it comes together. It’s undeniable. It is you slap yourself in the face and think why didn’t I do this years ago, I
just couldn’t see it. I just couldn’t see. And of course, you couldn’t see it. Because you’ve got to try loads of different things to get there. And that’s why it’s so important to get yourself a mentor or a coach or somebody that can look at you with different eyes and can say to you, this is where I think your talents lie, because sometimes you just can’t see it. It’s too natural to you. You just think well, that whole thing I just didn’t do that naturally. You can’t build a business around that. You can certainly build a business around anything and if you can find Something that is a natural talent and ties in with your passion, then quite simply, as I say, you will never work again. Thank you so much for listening to Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for being part of everything that we’re trying to do from this side. Please tell your friends, please, we need more listeners, we need global domination, we need to get to the top of that charts. And you’re the only guys that can help us with that. So if you’re willing to rate and review on iTunes, and all the kinds of things that you might have heard on our podcast, but certainly just tell two of your mates and they tell you till two and NATO two, and it’ll be a growing platform. Until next time, thank you so much. This was David Ralph. And that was Join Up Dots.
Cheers sir. David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you were wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow. On Join Up Dots