Leadership is the KEY to success. But not everyone knows what it takes to be a leader. That’s why today I’ve got one of the world’s greatest leadership experts here with me on The Ed Mylett Show, and he’s his revealing million-dollar secrets of being a GREAT LEADER! This guest is none other than Jon Gordon — the incredible bestselling author and keynote speaker who has some UNIQUE insights about the ACCOUNTABILITY and LOVE that you need in order to be a leader, the power of being positive, and so much more! In this interview, Jon revealed his leadership framework with PRACTICAL STEPS you can implement each day to shape your mind to become a successful leader in your business, in your faith, in your family, in your fitness … in EVERY area of your life! You’ll learn how to alleviate thoughts of fear and stress that drain you and replace those thoughts with those of positivity that uplift and SERVE YOU. You have the power to TRANSFORM your environment instead of letting your environment change you. I hope you can gain so much from this mind-blowing conversation about leadership, faith, and the power of being positive. I know it will help you become the successful person you were meant to be!
Jon Gordon is a bestselling author and keynote speaker. He has inspired readers and audiences around the world, and his principles have been put to the test by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional and college sports teams, school districts, hospitals, and nonprofits. He is the author of 20 books including 8 best-sellers: The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, You Win in the Locker Room First, The Power of Positive Leadership, The Power of a Positive Team, The Coffee Bean, and his latest, Stay Positive. Jon has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, and Fox and Friends, as well as in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Los Angeles Dodgers, Campbell’s Soup, Dell, Southwest Airlines, Miami Heat, The Los Angeles Rams, Snapchat, Clemson Football, West Point Academy, and more! Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University. He and his training/consulting company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations, and teams. Guys, Jon has a unique gift in his ability to COMMUNICATE in such an articulate and relatable way. What initially fascinated me the most about him is that he radiates a CONTAGIOUS positivity, even though he would not consider himself a naturally optimistic person! I asked him about this, and he shared his journey to finding the positive energy that he embodies today.
People that know me very well know that my positive energy doesn’t come naturally to me — I could easily gravitate towards being a very pessimistic person. This means that I have to constantly work at being positive. It’s kind of like a muscle that I build each day. Jon is similar in this way. Growing up in Long Island, New York, with a Jewish-Italian family, he remembers that there was a constant atmosphere of negativity in the household. His father was a New York City police officer working in narcotics, and although he was a loving father and amazing guy, Jon mentioned that he was one of the most negative people on the planet:
“Growing up in that family, you grow up with more of a negative mindset and not a lot of positivity. So I think naturally, I just have always gone towards the negative, and I’ve had to work really hard at being positive. But it’s actually led me to do this work because I want to be more positive.” - Jon Gordon
The pivotal moment that gave Jon motivation to shift his mindset was when his wife threatened to leave him because of his constant negativity. After she gave him an ultimatum, he decided to change the way he thought about life, starting with daily walks of GRATITUDE. Every day, Jon would take a walk and think about what he was thankful for. These “gratitude walks” flooded his brain with positive energy that lifted him up instead of the stress and anxiety that used to drain him. Over time, this did wonders for his mentality and his marriage:
“I read that you can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time … Over time, you [can] create a fertile mind that’s ready for great things to happen. … Think about your mind like a garden. If you walk for a week, you weed the negative and feed the positive. If you do it for a year, it starts to look amazing.” - Jon Gordon
Isn’t it incredible what the mind can do? Your thoughts have POWER, and you can harness them. By incorporating positive thoughts into your day, you can SHIFT your mindset, just like Jon did. But what about the negative thoughts? Negative thoughts are often intrusive and inevitable, but it is important to realize that you have POWER over them. Be aware that you do not choose to have negative thoughts — they do not come from your own conscious decision to think them. But you CAN choose not to listen to them:
“Where is [the negative thought] coming from? … It comes from a spiritual place. It's a spiritual battle. … But when those negative thoughts come into your head, you do not have to listen to them. Don't believe the lies. What you want to do is speak truth to the lies. And that’s what I’ve done over the years. That truth changed my life … [by] not allowing those thoughts to condemn me, to hold me back. Not allowing those thoughts to keep me from being who God has called me to be.” - Jon Gordon
Guys, how powerful is that? Jon had a breakthrough in his MINDSET that changed his life, and there’s nothing that’s stopping you from doing the same! If you grew up in a pessimistic environment and have been programmed to hear, feel, and think negatively, you can change this! When you begin to take control of your thoughts and the words you say, you are literally REPROGRAMMING the filter for your life! One of the main things that inspired Jon to reprogram his thinking was his FAITH. He shared how he came to his faith and how it affects his day to day life.
If you know me, you know that my faith as a Christian is the cornerstone of my life. I would not have had the success or abundance that is in my life without God giving it to me and guiding me! Jon’s faith is his FOUNDATION too, and he speaks openly about it with conviction. But it wasn’t always this way. For years, he struggled with fear, anxiety, and stress. He tried practicing Buddhism and meditation for a time, which helped him along his spiritual journey. But it didn’t heal him in the way he needed:
“There came a point to where I couldn’t deal with the pain, the burden, and the wounds that I had felt in the past, and the anxiety of all the things that were holding me back from being who I was meant to be. And then Daniel Decker gave me a sermon from Erwin McManus that really spoke to me .. his message the way he spoke about Jesus really spoke to me. And for the first time, I heard the voice of Jesus,and it spoke to my heart.” - Jon Gordon
After that sermon, different teachers, books, and people came into Jon’s life that led him further into his faith as a Christian. Something that I love about the way Jon describes his faith is the way he talks about ENERGY. I think that sometimes, people assume that if you’re a Christain, you don’t really believe in energy transfer or energy fields. But as a Christian, I actually do believe there is an energy field — I just believe that it was created by a higher power. I plug into energy all the time, and I believe in vibrational frequency. Jon spoke about his faith in similar terms:
“[Jesus] takes your heavy vibrational energy. He takes your soul pain. Christians call it sin. You can’t connect to a perfect, harmonious, energetic God if you have heavy vibrational energy. I wrote The Energy Bus, and I always saw the world in terms of energy. … I started believing in a God that would want to take my burden, my pain. … and it changed my heart. It changed my soul. It changed me as a husband and as a man.” - Jon Gordon
When Jon started diving into his faith, he felt called to write about what God was revealing to him. This led him to write his book The Garden right before the pandemic happened. Although he had no idea the pandemic would take place, Jon’s book was meant to help those going through anxiety, doubt, stress, and fear. Guys, this book is so important. In it, Jon dives into what he calls the “Five D’s.” These are words representing the negative emotions that everyone goes through, and Jon shared how to take ACTION to overcome them with PRACTICAL steps!
The first of the Five D’s is DOUBT. Whether you are religious or not, everyone faces doubt. It is what causes us to fear because we are unsure of what is true and worried about the outcome. Jon’s answer to facing doubt is TRUST:
“The answer is trust — radical trust and surrender to the Creator. I think a lot of times people try to be perfect like God because they don’t trust in God. And there’s so much fear because they don’t have trust. Right now, the enemy is lying to us with so much fear. Why? Because if we don’t trust in God, we will believe in the fear and the lies. … Once you doubt, you’re off balance, and you lose your foundation.” - Jon Gordon
Without a foundation of truth, you start to believe in lies. You can see it every day in this pandemic, as people start to believe that the future is hopeless and give up! This doubt leads to the second “D,” which is DISTORTION. Doubt and distortion play hand and hand. If you doubt what is true, the truth becomes distorted, causing you to doubt all over again in a ruthless circle. That can create the third “D,” which is DISCOURAGEMENT created by negative thoughts. How do you fight discouragement? Jon’s answer is ENCOURAGEMENT:
“The enemy knows that he can’t beat you himself, so what does he do? He gets you to beat yourself. … So the answer there is … encouragement. The word encouraged means ‘to put courage into.’ So we need to put courage into others. We need to put courage into ourselves.” - Jon Gordon.
Encouragement is something that we have to do every day. It’s like motivation or lifting at the gym — you have to be CONSISTENT to see results! Encouragement is so important to defeating discouragement, and every human needs it daily. The fourth “D” is DISTRACTION, which Jon calls “the enemy of greatness.” There are so many distractions around us every day, whether it is negative news, political turmoil, or social media. Jon noted that these distractions are what keep us from recognizing our true potential. So what is the weapon against distraction? It is LOVE.
“Distractions keep us from being who we're meant to be and who we're meant to be for each other. And so what did Jesus talk about? Love. Love your neighbor. Love one another. Let's just love. Let's focus on that. Everything else is a distraction. We're meant to love and invest and focus on relationships. And if we did that, that's how we build greatness.” - Jon Gordon
Guys, that is a powerful message right there. I’m blown away by Jon’s ability to communicate what I believe are essential truths you need to #MAXOUT your life and your relationships. The final “D” that Jon talked about is DIVISION. As a society, we are so divided right now because of doubt, distraction, and distortion of truth. But Jon mentioned that we are also facing division within ourselves:
“There's personal division where we actually feel separate from ourselves, and I believe from our Creator. The word anxious literally means divided, and it's a Greek root word. … So think about when you feel anxious. You actually really feel divided. You feel separate from others. You feel separate personally from yourself, and you feel separate spiritually from God.” - Jon Gordon
According to Jon, the answer to this division between yourself and others is UNITY. This is the reason he came to believe in Jesus. Jon saw that Jesus came to unite humankind back to the Creator and create reconciliation from the separation caused by sin. If you’re not a believer, that’s okay — you can still use this message of unity by focusing on unity within yourself and in your relationships. Focus on LOVE instead of DIVISION, and the anxiety of separation will fade. So remember the five “D’s” as you go about your day today — doubt, distortion, discouragement, distraction, and division. And then use Jon’s countermeasures to fight them and #MAXOUT the love, positivity, and empowerment in your life!
Guys, this interview with Jon Gordon was just a huge reminder to me of why I do The Ed Mylett Show. His message is PASSION-FILLED, and I know it can reach so many people. Be sure to go listen to the rest of the episode. Jon and I talked about so many more TRANSFORMATIVE topics, like what relationship grit is, the power of being still, what makes a good leader, and much more! If you want to connect with Jon, be sure to check out his website, and you can also reach him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube. And if you were impacted by this episode, please share it on Instagram and tag me, @Edmylett, and Jon, @jongordon11, with your greatest takeaways. Be sure to check out all of his INSPIRING and LIFE CHANGING books too! As always, don't forget to participate in my two-minute drill! I make a post every day, and those of you who comment within two minutes will have a chance to win a variety of awesome prizes, including a coaching session, #MAXOUT gear, and a copy of my book. Also, make sure to check out the show on the different platforms we're using. If you're a listener, check out video versions of the episodes on YouTube, and if you're not already subscribed to the podcast, make sure to subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Remember, there is so much POWER in your thoughts. You can control your mindset, find positivity, and defeat the “five D’s” to #MAXOUT your potential for success and happiness in this life. I hope that today you choose to transform your environment instead of letting it control you. I believe in you!