Motivational speaker and leadership coach, Juan Alvarado, shares how strength-based leadership coaching will improve your leader skills and accelerate results.
Don’t miss Juan’s incredible story of how his humble beginnings impassioned him to help others find their purpose and lead with strength and confidence.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
- How Juan’s formative experiences shaped him
- The role of family in the development of leadership skills
- How racism affected Juan’s journey
- The environmental impact on child development
- Juan’s secret to success
- What the military taught Juan about leadership
- What strength-based leadership involves
- How Juan’s leadership approach can also strengthen your children
- The Blueprint to Leadership: https://weraizethebar.kartra.com/page/BlueprintTOLeadership
ABOUT JUAN ALVARADO
As an expert in leadership and a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach, Juan is a widely regarded United States Army War Vet who has trained tens of thousands of soldiers in high-stakes situations. He is passionate about helping individual leaders and their teams overcome complacency with his “Seven Intentional Steps Toward Greatness” Seminar and his “Blueprint to Leadership” Course.
CONNECT JUAN ALVARADO
- Website: https://weraizethebar.com/
It shouldn’t matter And we didn’t let those things. Hurt us. We actually let it help us in feeling that fire to continue.
Welcome to the M perfectly empowered podcast with leading DIY lifestyle blogger on a Fullmer where women are inspired with authentic stories and practical strategies to reclaim their hearts and homes by empowering transformation. One imperfect day at a time. Hello and welcome to the imperfectly empowered podcast.
Thank you. Thank you so much. It’s so fun to have you here for those listening and watching. I met Juan at a networking conference. We sat at the same table and I certainly benefited from your expertise and your experience. There was a great group of people. That were there. And I really enjoyed meeting you.
We chatted about the warm weather in California versus Pennsylvania. I’m especially MBS right now. Where are you at in California? Again? I forget. It’s so central California. So it lists. Yeah, warm. That’s the bottom thing you’re warmer than I am right now. I’m like 70 degrees right now. Oh, listen. I think it’s about 34 for me at the moment.
Yeah, it’s depressing. Well, One of the things that was really evident at this round table at the networking conference is one, you are very passionate about what you do. You’re passionate about life. I love that that comes out in everything that you do. And I love that you were passionate specifically in terms of your business is very much about helping people.
Not only clarify their purpose, but understand how to improve their own leadership skills based on strengths. It’s a union. Concept. And we’ll dive into that a little bit later, but I’m curious, growing up hindsight, vision is always 2020, but when you look back, did you see this example of leadership modeled in your own life?
Or was it something that kind of transpired in your experience over the years? Tell me a little bit how your childhood contributed to where you are today. Yeah, that’s a good question. So in strengths, when we go through the training, we talk about reflect back in your life to see where you see evidence of your strengths.
And I’ve never done that before. And there was a specific time in my high school years where it was actually my senior year. And I remember. Our last game of the season, all the seniors are kind of like emotional and down is their last baseball game that they play, that they’re going to play in high school.
And the coach gave us an opportunity. Insane. Do, does any of you guys want to say anything and no one was saying anything and I said, I’m going to say something. And that was probably one of the first times I moved people to like tears in what I said and kind of giving them that motivational and inspirational talk.
And then another time I remember in joining the military, we’re getting ready to be deployed and our chaplain had to go home on emergency leave and we were from. California, Wisconsin and new Orleans. And we were in new Orleans and we’re getting ready to go into war time. Right? We’re getting ready to go support operation, Iraqi freedom.
And everyone was kind of shaking in their boots, no pun intended. And they’re like, who’s going to pray over us. Who’s going to pray over us. And people needed prayer before. And some people were really, really nervous. And I was like, nobody is standing up. I’m probably the least ranking person here. I’m going to go and pray.
So I was like, Hey, first Sergeant, is it okay if I go and pray over us before we go? And he’s like, absolutely. I was waiting for somebody to step up. And those are just two, but there’s opportunities for people to step up. And granted there’s going to be people who can’t and won’t because the world needs.
But there’s those people that are timid that has that still quiet voice in them that says, this is your time. Like it is time for you to step up and do something. And I was fortunate enough to be obedient to that voice. Some of it call it the universe. Some people call it the little angel on your shoulder.
Some people call it the holy spirit. And it was just something that I listened to. And I made tons of friends, tons of leadership experience because of that, they’re like, Hey, we need somebody to stay. And I was that person that stepped up that day. Now you also have, if we rewind even further, you are forgiving.
I can’t remember you first-generation. Tell me a little bit about your heritage and because your situation is unique, it’s certainly different than mine and how maybe growing up in that way contributed to where you are. Yeah. So we can go back even further. So my parents are originally born and raised in Mexico.
Um, yeah. And so I’m first generation American and born in Los Angeles or Hollywood, California, and went back to go see where my parents grew up and it is rough. My dad showed me. House. It’s probably as big as this room where 14 of his brothers and sisters lived, where they had to go to the let’s. Just pause for a second.
Oh, my word that gives me palpitations. Just thinking about there’s your hold up and wait moment. Yeah. So we saw where like they got water from the well and where they worked. And so even as kids, it was like, if you were old enough to walk, you were old enough to work and they came over here. When they were fairly young and they picked fruit up and down, California and Washington and Oregon fruits, cotton, anything you can think of that needed field work, they would do it.
And they were getting paid pennies pennies to get that stuff done. And my parents settled down here in central California. And then my dad went to school in Southern California and went to Cal state. And he said, I am not going to bring you my mom, his wife down to Southern California until he had a home ready.
And when I hear this story, I really kind of hunkered down into my leadership and saying, that is the core. Like, you go first as a leader and you set up shop and you do what is right. And you build what’s right until it is set and ready in this case for his bride. And. They moved to Southern California and that’s where I was brought up, but my parents always showed me like just a hard, tough work ethic.
And that’s where I kind of started to see that seed that was planted in me from them now. So you’re first-generation and you’re raised in a family that understands that hard work ethic and that sense of gratitude I’m sure. Because it’s like anything. When you come from a place of need, you’re also more likely to give to those in need because you understand that sense of not having everything.
Did you see, were there challenges in your growing up years? You said, I think Southern California is where you were actually raised then. In that type of environment. Did you experience any challenges like racism? Did you experience any challenges that came from poverty as your parents are establishing themselves and working their butts off to create that environment for you?
Tell me a little bit about that. Yeah, it’s funny because. You never knew how poor you were. Like, I look at stuff now, like I’ve gone through some really tough financial situations with myself, my wife and my family building up our family to what it is today. And there’s been times in our own lives. We don’t have enough money to have dinner.
And so we’re making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or tuna sandwiches for dinner. And I started to reminisce. I started to think, I remember doing this when we were younger. I remember being five or six. And I remember sitting on the floor and having like cereal for dinner. Oh my God, we didn’t have money.
Like, it was fun then, but like you had no idea. And so my mom didn’t work. My mom. Had a tough time through high school. So she graduated high school, but she’d never really did anything. She was, she didn’t say she didn’t do anything. She stayed at home with us. She raised us. She did a phenomenal. But her reading got the best of her and she wasn’t very self-confident.
Even though the woman is amazing quick story, they did renovation on my parents’ house and they got a contractor and to cut money, she decided to do half and the contractor would do the other half and her stuff. First inspection and his didn’t woman after my own heart. Get it. What’s her name? What’s her first name?
Esther, Esther, you and me kindred spirits. So it’s just like, she wasn’t very self confidence like mom, do you understand how much stuff you’ve accomplished? Like reading is one thing. You have so much like street smarts and she took care of us at home. She was able to stretch my dad’s income to take care of the family.
It was just, she just did a really good job of that. My dad was a janitor for that Los Angeles times that paid his way through college. And then he became a teacher to kind of touch on that subject of if we experience any racism, there’s a couple of different things that took place. So my dad was a teacher in south central Los Angeles.
He was the only Mexican teacher on campus. It was 19. 0.9%, all black teachers, all black students. And he was the only Mexican teacher there. And so he would have lunch by himself. He was told that he couldn’t eat in the cafeteria with them. And so he would have to eat in his classroom. And then one gentleman by the name of Jimmy Walker came to him and they’re still friends to this day, um, reached out to him and said, Hey, some of us are.
And I don’t think we have a good perception of who you are. And so he got sat down and got to meet with my dad and my dad ended up being such a great teacher there. He was ended up being one of the head teachers there at the school, but in the beginning he was looked down upon because it was. You versus us type of deal.
And so they were closed off, so he was closed off. And so there was this kind of tension that was there because there was so much unknown, but once they got to communicate and know each other, it opened great doors for him. I remember being like nine or 10 years old lining up to go to a skating rink and being told wetbacks need to go into the back of the.
And I’ve never, ever, ever heard like any derogatory words towards Mexicans. And so I was like, Whitbeck what do you mean. One. Yes, I’m Mexican, but two I’m born here. Like I don’t understand. And so there was a little bit of a kind of not fight, but argument back and forth of grown adults and children, me and my friends and being told like, Hey, you need to go to the back of the line.
And we’re like, I don’t get it. I don’t understand. And that was the first time I ever felt anything like that. And it was odd too. And guys, let’s just pause again for a second. This was how many years ago? Oh, this was not that long ago. Generally speaking, all things considered. I mean, you and I are going to assume we’re approximately the same age.
I’m 35, but it’s so eye opening this whole, last couple years has been so eye opening to me because as a majority, I am the truly classic white privileged woman. I definitely am. I don’t deny that, understand that more than I ever have. And it’s been so eye opening to me. Because I don’t experience racism in this traditional sense that we hear about.
And so I appreciate you sharing that because this is not that long ago. Yeah. This is not decades ago. Right. Right. And I think what was a shock to me is because in Southern California, amidst everything that has been going. California’s definitely different than other states where I would say like us and New York, maybe even Florida had that like melting pot of people.
And so I had Asian friends, black friends, white friends, mixing friends. Right. And so we all got along. So to hear that, and then I’m like, huh, maybe it was just a fluke only to be years later where my sister gets pulled over and she matches I get this. Cause I used to be a police officer. She matches the description of a female person that stole a car.
Same thing. Color car, different make and model. They take her out of her car. She has, she’s a music teacher. They take her music instruments out of her car. Her sheet music starts to fly everywhere because the wind, they realize that they have the wrong person and they said, you can go. And she’s like, Are you going to help me with my sheet music, that’s all over the place.
And I remember her coming home crying and thinking like, I still don’t understand what’s going on. I was oblivious to it. And my dad just taught us that it shouldn’t matter what we look like, or whether we’re first generation or second generation or whatever, continue to work hard that your work ethic and your character will carry you no matter what.
And I come to find my dad being very successful. My sister being very successful, myself, being very successful in, we didn’t let those things hurt us. We actually let it help us in feeling that fire to continue forward and not worry about anything else. Because if we constantly look back and we constantly say, well, I am the stereotypical Mexican, no one, I’m having a Mexican heritage, but I’m American too.
I have the strength and the focus to continue to work. Like if I really let that bother me and holding me back, I’m going to stay back there. And so it was a constant stride forward to say, I’m bigger than this. And so I have a friend Jeremy Anderson, who says your condition is not your conclusion. And so even though you’re going through something like that, it’s like, that’s not the whole book.
It’s only a page. And so it’s, again, if we hold onto that, then we’re going to be stuck to it. So let it go and continue. I love that. Thank you for sharing that perspective. And I think it’s, so it gives us that like, high-level overview that perspective. When we talk about racism that the bottom line, it’s not a color problem, it’s a human problem, right?
Like it’s a hard issue for humanity. We are comfortable with what we’re familiar with and. The bottom line is we just have to build relationships no matter what color or religion or ethnicity we are. The bottom line is you have to build relationships with people to break down those barriers. So like your father did, I appreciate those examples.
You talked about you were raised, so Southern California is where you grew up then. Yes. Yeah, it was the LA yeah, it’s a suburb of what’s in Los Angeles county. It’s a small city called windier with your. Yeah. So were you the model student growing up, you mentioned that you played baseball. Were you the like straight A’s a star baseball player?
Because what I love about your story is, from what I understand, you were the kid that once got in trouble in school, and then you went from that to being the guy who helped the troubled kids after school. So tell us a little bit about that transition and. So Ray, a really good student all through elementary and junior high and then high school happened.
And I don’t know if it was trying to fit in. I don’t know if it was trying to like fit in the school happened. That should be the hashtag for all of our lives or in middle school. And, uh, I remember graduating and I was a typical like C slash B student. And I had to go to night school because I wasn’t passing my English.
And when I graduated, I remember my dad telling me, congratulations to me how you did it. And he was like, I didn’t think you were going to pull it off. And I was like, thanks, dad. My dad has always been really positive, but for him to sit back and work. Yeah. Oh my gosh, is he going to pass? And he’s a teacher, right?
So he’s like, He has these high expectations of me, but I let like girls get in the way of that. Like having a girlfriend took me out of the only one who has ever done that. Right, right. It doesn’t happen to anybody, but yeah, I did cross country that conditioned me for wrestling. I wrestled. And then I played baseball and I think I remember missing like picture day cause I was with my girlfriend and it was like, I just let that stuff kind of take over me and didn’t really have the focus.
So then school started to suffer. And then typical of my family, I started to work really young. So at 15 and a half, I had a job. And then I want to say it like 16, 16 and a half. I had two jobs. So it had two jobs. I bus tables at a Mexican restaurant. And then I was a host at the olive garden and I had school and sports.
And so I was juggling all those things. So my grades suffered a little bit. My maturity level was up there. So I wasn’t the model student, but at the same time, I hustled at a young age. I don’t know if I did it to help out my parents. I didn’t give much, but I knew that I needed responsibility. And I guess that’s part of the whole leadership thing that kind of popped out from there.
But I got along with some teachers didn’t get along with other teachers. And just struggled in school. I wasn’t confident in my reading either. I tell stories of like, I remember when we used to go around the classroom and like everyone would have to read a paragraph and we would go in order and I’m counting like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Okay. I have the eighth paragraph. So then I go down to the eighth paragraph and I try to read it over and over and over again. Crap. There’s a word that I don’t understand. I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s so fascinating though, because if you think about it, it makes complete sense. Even though you were born here in the states, it goes to show how important it is that we’re reading to our children at a young age, because understandably, I mean, your dad probably was, but especially moms, we tend to be the ones who are doing a lot of the reading to our kids when they’re younger, not across the board, but that’s an interesting, it makes sense.
I can see how that would be the case for many families. That if the parent is not comfortable in English, it would consequently then be a struggle. Yeah. That’s an interesting, it makes sense. So, yeah, I didn’t have competence that, especially at even a younger age, not being confident in reading, funny story, that in the fifth grade, fifth grade, we were reading our science book and I’m reading and I get to micro organisms and I.
Pronounced that organism we’re in, I say orgasm. And so like, everyone starts left, the teacher spits out for coffee and I’m like, I don’t understand what I did wrong. And then I realized, oh my God, how do you say this? And so, and so after that, It was funny in hindsight, but I remember like just cowering down and not feeling comfortable in reading.
And so, so getting older and working with fast forward, I ended up being the director of after-school programs for 11 years. And really my goal was to find powerful, impactful, relatable staff to work with these kids and after school programs. And I was a staff for awhile, but really honing in on those.
Troubled kids on the kids that didn’t have like those father role models in their lives. Those girls that didn’t have the dads at home and in the area that I did my work in is a small city called Reedley and orange Cove and orange Cove, I believe is the second. Poverished neighborhood in California.
And so we have a lot of migrant workers and a lot of migrant kids. So first generations, kids, or second generation kids, but also stuck in poverty. And so you see kids that can’t read. English is their second language. They’re going to school with either close too small or too big. Cause they’re all Hemi downs.
Parents are working two, three jobs and so no, one’s there to help. And so it’s like, how do I become a change agent for these kids? And so I was able to do that as a staff, but I realized I need to and want to be able to. Bring in more staff that have the same kind of heart as I do, but of course a different background, but can they be able to relate to these kids?
And we ended up growing those afterschool programs from. 10 schools to 13 schools from like 190 students to over 2000 students that we oversee and a majority of those poverty, low income families and kids. And so we do all kinds of things for them, but yeah, it’s a cool, full circle to see how I struggled in school, to be able to get to a point where I’m able to help those same kids that looked and feel like myself, what would you say?
I love the connection that we can make. For anybody listening and watching who may be a first-generation or second-generation not to mention just anybody struggling with whatever it may be or any type of challenge. What would you say? A favorite question I like to ask is if you could sum up success that you have seen in your life, whether it be overcoming the difficulty to read or pushing through derogatory comments and still seeing success in your life and not going backwards.
If you could sum up that success in one word, what would it be? I would say, probably say drive that when we came to you to drive, we do two different things. We get further ahead, but we also leave that stuff waiting for. And if we continue to drive forward, we’ll be able to, again, leave that stuff behind, but able to see in the distance what we can do.
And I think there’s a lot in future thinking or forward-thinking with that. And going back to my friend’s comment of your condition is not your conclusion is like, again, if we stay comfortable where we are, we’re going to stay there forever. We have to be able to stand up and move forward and not let those things hold it.
I absolutely love what you’re saying, because I had Leah here, Leah Valencia key. She was actually at our table as well. And a phrase that she used was your predicament does not determine your destiny and you guys in some ways have similar stories. And it just goes to show the consistency of the power of that statement, that the bottom line you need to keep moving forward.
And don’t. Settle where you’re at and don’t focus on the rear view mirror. Just keep moving right ahead. So, one other question that I want to ask you is how would you say your time in the army transformed your perspective on leadership? Can you give any examples you did already, but was there anything especially transformative about that experience that helped shape.
What you do for your clients now? Yeah. As much as we lead, one of the things that I learned is one leaders need to be visible. You can’t follow a leader if you can’t see them. And if you can’t hear them and that leaders need to be visible and not to get into anything political, I don’t, I’m not trying to get into anything political, but one of the reasons why this administration had just a hard time, starting was people were counting down the days from when is the president going to make his first.
Where is the vice-president at? How come she’s not addressing anything? How come? No one’s saying anything about this. And so people start to worry, like, where is our leader, specifically, a president and a vice-president in hindsight, you look at the other administration and they were front and center all the time, almost too much to the point where you’re like, okay, get off my TV or.
Right, but binders, but leaders have to be seen. And I think that’s one of the biggest hiccups for a lot of leaders is we get into a leadership position and then we’re not seeing, I would even say, look at parenting, you can be present and not be present as a parent. You can be home, but you’re not present with your kids.
And there ends up being communication issues or a growing up issue in not named presence. So leaders need to be seen and leaders need to be heard. I think the other thing that I learned from the military as well is leaders also live. And when you listen, there’s a lot of learning that happens with listening and you can listen, not only with your ears, but you can also listen with your eyes.
You can see somebody struggle, you can see somebody heartbroken, you don’t need ears to understand that somebody is hurt or crying or joyful or anything like that. One of the other things, the third thing is. That leaders take care of their soldiers first. And so I remember going into, once I moved up the ranks in the military, I would make sure that my soldiers ate first.
And so it’s like, Hey, did you eat? Did you eat? Did you eat? Let’s go to chow and we’d go to the chow hall and we’d go. And then they would say, go ahead, start. And I’m like, no, no, no, no, you go first. I’ll eat, whatever’s left. And it’s the same thing at home. And I think moms do this a lot moms or whomever’s at home with the kids or making dinner or whatever.
I work from home. And so I cook a lot for my wife and for my kids. And so me and my wife kind of split that. I don’t want to call it a chore, but that responsibility, responsibility, that responsibility, because we have to eat. Right. Amen. And so she will make sure that everyone eats or I will make sure that everybody eats and there’s time where I’m like, babe, sit down, like eat, or she’ll say, maybe you need to eat.
And I’m like, no, I got to make sure that everybody’s fed. And so. We need to make sure that everybody is nurtured first. So don’t just think about food as a leader of a business or an organization. You need to make sure that your staff are nurtured. You’re feeding them, not their belly, but their mind, you need to feed inspiration.
You need to feed leadership. You need to feed that forward. Thinking that I was talking to before, because if we’re going through a journey at work or whatever, You need to know where are we going? Like what’s the mission and the vision of not only the organization, but your department and where you specifically fit in that.
What is my contribution? Cause people want to know that I helped, this is my role. And if people don’t understand their role, that’s an issue with the leader. We need to make sure that we lead from the front, that we’re seeing that we’re heard that we listened to our staff, or we also listened to them, but we also make sure that we feed them.
And it’s not a food thing. It’s a nurturing thing as well. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that I’m hearing, because what you’re saying is in one sense, you need to be in front. People need to see you on the platform in a position of leadership, but at the same time, there’s also a service. Aspect to it because you’re also in a sense serving from the back.
You’re saying, no, go ahead of me. I will come from behind and make sure that you’re all safe or you have what you need. And I love that sense of a leader is in the front, but they’re also in the back. Right. And that’s a really fascinating dichotomy there. That is interesting to think through. I also think an interesting takeaway is what.
Preaching, if you will, what you are teaching, could frankly be terrible. We’ve seen this all through history, right? But the fact is leaders who are followed are the ones who are doing exactly what you just said there in front. They are very clearly being seen and being heard. And so I think it’s an interesting concept that we often think about like what a leader is saying or the content of what they are leading.
The fact is part of the success of a leader is just simply being seen and being heard. And I think that’s an interesting takeaway. You hear about servant leadership, but the reality is leaders who are followed are the ones who are seen. And so I think that’s a, just how important that is and when they’re not seen, and yet they’re in a leadership position, everyone’s.
Where are they right? They need to be, need to be in front. We are going to dive into your strength based system for improving leadership, no matter what that is in your life. After we take a quick break, stay tuned, and we’ll also do a speed round of this or that with one after the. You have tried it all worried.
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And start your own transformation story. We are back with Juan Alvarado, Juan, we’re going to play a quick round of this or that, how it works is you get two options. You do not have to think about either one super hard. They’re not extremely life-changing questions. Alright. Number one, ice cream cone or milkshake.
Milkshake. What flavor? Mexican food or Italian food, Mexican food. And it’s just the same. I mean, listen, it’s Mexican food to me, but it is delicious DC or Marvel. Marvel. What’s your favorite Ironman. Okay. Home theater or movie theater. Ooh. Yeah. Do you have a favorite movie? What’s your go-to in your home theater?
I would say anything Marvel, but anything that we’re able to use the surround sound system and just lay it out loud. Anything, stick it on there. Baseball or wrestling. That was a great choice. I love you. I’m quite the, um, I’m in cross country wrestling and baseball. It’s an interesting combination. I have not seen that a lot.
Yeah. Cross country made me it trained my endurance for wrestling and then wrestling strengthened my legs for the bath. Yep. That’s fast. Okay, this is a hot button, toilet paper crumble, or fold. Oh, fold. He’s a folder folks. I used to ask under over, and I’ve had so many people tell me it’s not even a question nobody does under, I can’t wait for the first person to tell me that they roll it under.
Would you rather be a ne? Yeah. Would you rather be a ninja or a. Oh, ninja hands down. I know who doesn’t want to be in India. Yeah. Except for the pirates of the Caribbean lovers. I guess there could be some out there. True dog or cat dog. All right. Last one. Water skiing or scuba dive. Water-skiing, this is really off subject, but is scuba diving a thing off of California shows my ignorance.
Is it good? Scuba diving? I don’t know. I know that when I tried so funny, weird story, I went scuba diving or attempted to go scuba diving in Mexico. And the life vest that we had on, and then the snorkel and everything. When we went into the water and we started to swim out, the pressure of it, like felt like my flak vest or a Bulletproof vest.
And I got a really bad flashback and I’m like, I’m done. I need out of the water. I started to panic and I felt bad for ruining our vacation. My wife’s like is that you didn’t ruin it. So we went back around and yeah. And that’s so fascinating though, is that subconscious? You might not have been thinking about it at all, but in that instance, yeah, I’ve been there, not because of worst stuff, but that was really interesting.
Well, so let’s talk about strength based leadership a little bit here. I understand that per the numbers, approximately 50% of people who leave their employer report, that they leave because of poor leadership or managing. I can understand this. Having been a medicine for many, many years. I think that is absolutely true.
I have seen it many times, only 38% though, of those leaders and managers say that the bosses above them actually provide or encourage the opportunities to develop those leadership skills. Again, I have absolutely seen this in medicine. And then to take it a step further, I’m going to guess that the managers and the leaders who do go to seminars, I don’t know this for sure, but I’m going to guess the majority of them don’t feel like they’re all that beneficial could be wrong about that, but I bet a lot of them don’t.
So you’re passionate about using this proven system, right? His strength based. It’s an approach to help people improve their leadership qualities, which again, I’ve mentioned this before on this podcast, you could be a stay at home. Mom, you’re still a leader. We are all leaders in one way or another, whether it be in our personal lives or professional lives.
So for those of us that are not familiar with the strength based approach, tell me a little bit about that system and what it looks like and how we can find our own strengths to improve. Not just find more clarity, but improve our own leadership. Yeah. So, and those stats that you gave are tremendous.
It’s just odd to me. I just did an ad that I have going running right now on Facebook and on Instagram about my leadership course, because yeah, I think it’s gone up 1%, 51% of people, either jobs that says it’s, you’re splitting the difference, but I think it’s huge that a lot of people get into leadership positions because they have been.
Working for their employer for awhile, unless it’s a new position. Like, Hey, we’re hiring a new CEO or COO, but a lot of managers and supervisors had been with the company 10, 15, 20 years. And so it’s a no brainer hire so-and-so they know the systems, but being a leader is really training up other leaders and really pouring into people.
It’s people based. And a lot of people just because you can do a job really well and you know how to follow policies and procedures, it doesn’t mean that you know how to lead people. And so this. Leadership is based on an individual strengths. There’s about, I think it’s about 50 years of research had gotten into it.
Dr. Don Clifton is the one who studied other assessments and said there’s something missing. And so he put a bunch of data and research into it. And so Clifton strengths is a people want to call it like a. Character assessment or personality assessment. It’s not a personality. Right, right, right. This goes off of what you’re kind of in your DNA, who you’ve kind of becoming your kind of growing up in life.
And there’s basically, there’s 34 strengths that everyone has. They’re just in a different order. And the likelihood of someone having the same strengths as the same top five as you in the same order. Is one in 33 million, which goes to show you that you are an individual you’re unique. And which is why when you work for someone or work with someone there’s times where you butt heads, because you’re different and you would do things one way and I would do things a different way.
And so strengths is really looking at. What you’re strong in and gifted in and talented in. And it’s just like working out, right? It is one of those things that if you’re strong in an area and you continue to work it out, you’re going to get stronger in that area. A lot of people want to say, well, what are my weaknesses?
What are your weaknesses? You go into job interviews and like, what’s your weakness? And people will say, well, I want to work on my weakness. Well, when you work on your weakness, then. Your strengths start to diminish, right? If you’re doing really good in your podcast, you’re doing really good and you’re blogging.
And all of a sudden you say, I have a weakness in learning car mechanics. I’m going to dive into being, learning the mechanics and becoming like garage head and going and fixing cars. Well, guess what? Your blog and your podcast and your fitness is going to diminish because you’re spending all that time in your weakness and strengths.
No focus on your strengths. And so there’s an example that I do with people where you draw a star. And if you outline that star about a half inch, And then outline that again and outline it again. The peaks of that star start to move further and further out. That’s an example of your strengths. If you continue to work on your strengths, your strengths get better, but those end points of the star where the outside connects to the inside, those are your quote unquote weaknesses.
So when you outline it, that end point of the star continues to travel out. So, so by default, when you work on your strengths, your weaknesses. Tend to diminish. And so that doesn’t really work with the whole mechanics example, but what does happen is when you know your strengths and you know, your blind spots, we get into blind spots a lot is you start to understand, oh, this is what other people see in me.
For instance, one of my number one strengths is strategic thinking. And so when I have a plan, I have literally. Dialed in every situation possible and gotten every best scenario, put them together to give you the best situation possible for a proper plan. And so I will tell the team, all right, let’s execute the blind spot to strategic thinking says you think too fast.
To the point where people will feel like you’re not explaining yourself where there’s going to be miscommunication. Like you just want people to move because you come up with this plan and people are asking why, and you’re like, don’t worry about it. Just do it. I figured it out already. Right? All they want you to do.
And all they want you to do is explain. I just want to know why or how, because there’s going to be some people that have strength of context and context says, I need some information beforehand of why. So when you understand your strengths and say, okay, when I go to the group, I’m going to say, look, this is what we’re doing.
We’re meeting at nine because so-and-so, and so-and-so, and so-and-so can be here. Everyone can be here at nine. We’re going to move from this location to this location. And this is the route that we’re going to take because of traffic. There’s a school here in the school here, so we’re going to avoid that.
And so this is the way we’re going to go. So if I explain my strategic thinking, then it kind of sets at ease. However, if I don’t understand my blind spot and I just use my strengths. People are going to start having questions. I’m going to get frustrated. They’re going to get frustrated. And so then it’s just a hot mess of not understanding each other.
And so when we understand our strengths, we can start to understand others’ strengths. And then once we understand our blind spots, we can start to be a little bit better in how we communicate with each other, which is why you find that businesses and organizations. Have a strength-based using strengths are more productive, more efficient.
The communication is higher. They’re more likely to stay at their job. So there’s not a high turnaround rate and the stats are phenomenal when you have an organization or an individual using strings. Well, I love it because I think the principle extends to so, so many aspects of life and it’s subtle, but what you’re saying is.
Really important to clarify for anyone that missed it is I love the idea that the strength based system, if somebody could hear what you just said and said, well, you’re still addressing weaknesses, but the difference is it is a blind spot or a weakness that is inhibiting the strength that you already have.
It’s not a totally separate concept or a separate area of life. It’s taking your strength and finding, okay, what is. A blind spot or weakness specifically related to this strength that might be inhibiting me from doing even better in this particular area that I’m already excelling at. And I think that’s such an important thing to note because we want to Excel in so many areas in life, but it’s like you just said at the end of the day, Find the things that you are really good at, and maybe I’m even speaking to somebody who’s not been working professionally for years, but what I’m hearing you say, Juan is.
As individuals we need to look, what are the things that I’m really good at? People have told me I’m good at these things. Maybe I have education around these things. Maybe I’m passionate and good at these things. Focus on those and find ways to Excel even more in those particular areas. I love the whole concept around its blind spots specifically regarding that strength, not a totally different aspect of, of life, right?
Yeah. One of the things that I try to tell people is it’s kind of like your rear view mirrors on your car. You move your rear view mirrors to uncover your blind spots. However, there’s still a blind spot in that. However, what did the automotive company do? They put a reverse camera, so you can see even better in your blind spots.
And then they put this orange indicator light that if someone is in your blind spot, it illuminates. So you don’t go. So they got that rear view mirror and they made it better. So knowing your strengths and then knowing your blind spots makes you easily. Better. It makes that strength even better. I know how to use it because when I use my strength in, like one of my strengths is responsibility.
Responsibility says that you put kind of that load on your shoulders and you love to do the work because you feel responsible for that. You want to put your name behind it. The blind spot says that you say yes to. And the blind spot to that is because you say yes too much. Something else might suffer like close friends or family.
So at work at work, when I take on another project, Then who suffers my wife and my kids, because I’m not home when I’m supposed to. So now when I can communicate to my wife or communicate to my boss at the time and say, Hey, I’ll do this, but I’m only going to work to this time because I know my blind spot is going to hurt my family.
I have to tell my employer. I’ll do it, but I’m going to stop at this time or I’m going to start tomorrow and you start to make more awareness of your strength. And I think that’s what is great about it. The other thing that I would go and say to people who are interested in this as it’s not just a work thing, my wife and I have taken the assessment and I understand my wife on a whole nother level.
Our marriage knock on wood is like unstoppable. We’re made our marriage is amazing. And my relationship with my kids, I have three boys, my middle son, no offense to those middle child, middle child,
the trial baby. But I couldn’t get to my middle son. I just couldn’t kind of crack the code on him. And so I had him take the assessment and now I totally understand him. So there is a, an adult version there that might be what we need to do for our son. I still don’t understand this child. I don’t know where he came from, but there’s a, there’s a student version.
And then there’s a kid’s version and the kid’s version. Um, you don’t get the full 34, basically what the strengths finder talks about in strengths Explorer is that there’s 10 strengths. You only get the kids top three and you don’t know the other seven because there’s still, there’s still a dynamic of transfer.
You have developing and transformation into who they are. Those 10 strengths develop into the full 34. And you can kind of see once you kind of know this stuff, you kind of see, oh, this strength is going to develop into these two or three, but I. I understand my son, heck of a lot more. Our connection is really, really strong.
And I tip my hat to the firstname.lastname@example.org for, for doing what they do in the research that they do, because it’s not only saving organizations and businesses, but it is helping relationships. It’s helping families. Oh, completely, completely. The old should a kid be to take this the child. So I believe it’s 10 to 14 and then 15 to 15 to 18 is like the student one.
And then, um, 18 or older is the full, the full adult version. And you can help people go through and assess from any age. Right. So if somebody is listening to this, cause I, I really, really like this concept and I’m even looking at my own kids. Mine are a little young, right? I love the idea of going through it as a parent with your child, especially as we’re trying to develop confidence in them.
What you’re saying is so perfect here because we’re highlighting their strengths and you’re already playing into what they’re really good at, which is only going to further empower that sense of accomplishment and success and ultimately confidence. So I think that’s an amazing takeaway here. This is not just for people in leadership positions at work.
This is also for families, which is a really great. It’s a great service. I would be very interested in that for my kids. When they’re a little older now highlighting that a little bit. You offer one-on-one coaching. Tell me, tell me how somebody is interested in what you do, learning about the strength system and how to be able to assess their own.
Um, whether it be leadership or a family or kids or relationship, tell me the service that you offer. Yeah. So right now, what I’m doing, I’m working a lot with, um, the education system. So a lot of people in, uh, that work in like school, um, the district office. Um, and so that’s kind of my, my main clients right now, even though I have, um, different one-on-one, um, clients that I have.
The website is www dot. We raise the bar.com and you can go on there and, um, reach out, connect with me. And I have a thing for if you’re interested in, just want to know about strengths. And so it’s just a quick 20 minute call. Like, Hey, I want some information. Um, I’m interested in. And then there’s another one on there for, Hey, I’m going to get my assessment.
I want to get my assessment or I have my assessment. I’m ready for coaching. And so I like to do 75 minutes. Usually a lot of coaches will do 30 minutes or an hour. There’s not enough time in an hour to do, to do that. So I try to add a little bit more time and I’m the kind of coach and my, and my own coach is probably gonna get mad at me for saying this.
But a lot of people that I do. You’ll pay for like one or two or three sessions. And I ended up just putting way more time and effort into you than, than what you’ve actually paid for. I like today, today, I believe that I definitely believe that. Um, so today, today after this, uh, I have a call with somebody and I’m not even charging them for that because they’ve done five or six different sessions.
It just, my heart. Um, kind of breaks and bleeds for those people who want help, especially those people who maybe can’t afford it or things like that. But I mean, cause a lot of these coaches are, are charging, you know, thousands and thousands of dollars for, for stuff. And I wanted to like, what do you do for the people who can’t afford it or those people who have saved enough to that want the help.
And so I try to keep my trying to get out of where they’re at. They’re trying to move forward, but they don’t have the finances to do it. I love that one. So th so I really want to help, uh, just transform people because like we were saying in the beginning of. It’s a heart problem. There’s a people problem.
And so it’s really feeding into people’s hearts and minds to say that you are stronger than you think you are in your mind is very, very, very strong a muscle, if you will. And if you don’t have control over it and outer, outer things outside of you have control over that, it’s gonna, it’s going to run you.
And so it’s really trying to take control over marriages, taking control over relationships, taking control over leadership, and really lead with intention. That’s beautiful. I, um, I want to end with a quote that I have heard you say, you said, if you’re tired of what you are getting, then change what you are giving.
And I want to thank you for, you know, really. Um, modeling the sense of, you know, you are giving something different. I love your heart. It is very clear that you are taking your own experiences and you are proactively trying to change the lives of other people, which is just amazing. And I thank you for you’re really helping people develop resilience by building their skills.
And you know, their God given abilities. And I thank you so much for what you’re doing. We will have all of this. We raised the bar.com. All of that information will be on the show email@example.com. And hon, I just pray God’s blessing over you and what you’re doing, I know you are changing so many lives and I pray that he will give you many more lives to change because what you’re doing is just invaluable.
Thank you so much. Uh, it’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you. And I’m honored to be on here with you. Thank you so much. Absolutely. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. It is my honor to be here with you. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. If you are watching on YouTube, be sure to click the subscribe button below.
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