Episode #7: Leading and Living on Your Own Terms with Steve Wood

Change Your Filter with Tall Paul

Key Points

  1. Surround yourself with leaders.
  2. Don’t whine, simply go out and do it!
  3. Leadership develops over time, not in a day.

Steve Wood on Change Your Filter

Any successful business owner or CEO knows that in order to grow and succeed, you must have great leaders around you. In episode 7 of the Change Your Filter podcast, we are joined by Steve Wood. Steve is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Johnson Supply. He is also a founding partner of the John Maxwell Team where he is a certified leadership coach and speaker.

Who is Steve Wood

Growing up on a ranch in Texas, Steve had a decision to make. Was he going to continue on the path of working farms and ranches his whole life? Or would he carve a different path? Steve always thought about what it might be like to have an “office life” with a big corner office, so he decided to seek a new life. Steve was driven to go after this new life because of his passion for personal growth. He had no idea what was out there, but he knew he had to explore a life that included more than farms and ranches.

Steve had a friend who worked at the Lennox Corporation who made him aware of an internship they were offering. Steve knew absolutely nothing about the industry and had no formal education. He barely even knew what Lennox did. In a bold move, Steve showed up at the Lennox Chief Engineer’s Office and attempted to persuade them by showing his eagerness to learn!  He soon proved to them he was a hard worker and would happily work for cheaper than his peers.

Lennox

Lennox granted Steve the internship on the condition that he would have 90 days to prove his worth. He was told that he needed to earn the support of the workers on the floor at the end of 90 days in order to be allowed to stay. Furthermore, if he made it through the 90-day probation period, Lennox Corp. would pay for his college education! With this in mind, Steve put his full effort forward and began his work in the Lennox R&D lab at the young age of 20.

Steve was only making $575/month working with Lennox, so he continued to work at the ranch on weekends. He started to get nervous when the 90 days came up as an engineer that had formal education within the industry was fired after his 90 days. Fortunately, at the end of the 90-day period, Steve was offered a full-time position with Lennox! Seeing Steve’s natural leadership potential, the executives at Lennox began to groom him for promotion. This good fortune contributed to Steve’s passion for helping others grow and prosper. Clearly, the experience at Lennox helped mold Steve’s character. Soon, Steve began to comprehend that it’s not always an individual’s education and experience that matters. Instead, it’s drive, desire, and an individual’s willingness to learn that’s important.

How Steve Got to Where He is Today

As time moved on, Steve began to understand that he was good at his job. He was skilled and successful, yet he yearned to work with people as opposed to working on research hypotheses and handling test tubes.

Steve transitioned out of R&D and into the role of “factory service technician”.  In this position, Steve would be responsible for setting up equipment in high-rise office buildings and skyscrapers. Steve was again promoted, first to “factory rep” and then to territory sales manager. Along his journey, Steve was lucky enough to have great mentors that invested in him via their valuable time. Steve gives much credit to his numerous mentors and claims that his success would never have occurred without the help and support they offered. 

Steve notes that “although no one can invest in everyone, all of us can invest in someone!”  When choosing individuals to mentor, Seve cautions to be careful, as “time” is a successful person’s most precious commodity. 

Foundational Principles of Growth & Leadership

Fast forward to today, and Steve is leading a large team of individuals as a VP with Johnson Supply. Prior to hiring members for his team, Steve always ensures each candidate is “coachable.” Steve doesn’t care if they have the existing skills or credentials for the job. Instead, he tries to make sure they have the hunger to learn those skills. Some of the best hires Steve has made had no credentials whatsoever. 

Steve notes that in order to take an organization to the enterprise level, it’s absolutely imperative to build a team of company leaders. In order to grow leadership, individuals must constantly improve their leadership skills.

Leadership develops over time, not in a single day. While on his professional journey, Steve had the pleasure of partnering with John Maxwell who is an advocate and teacher of the 21 laws of leadership. With John Maxwell’s help, Steve began to better understand how he might improve his own personal leadership in an effort to grow both himself and his business. 

Steve found three key principles to be most important: 

  1. The Law of Process: becoming a good leader is continuous and these skills are learned over time.
  2. The Law of Magnetism: if you don’t have the right people around you, it may be because you’re not the kind of person they want to be around. Who you are is who you attract. If you’re a good leader, have a passion for growth, and want people on your team to have integrity, then you must become that type of person.
  3. The Law of Inner Circle: your success is determined by those closest around you. Until you get the right people within your inner circle, you’ll be limited as to how far you can go. You can’t grow your inner circle beyond “who you are” and “what you are”. If you want to attract great leaders, you must first be a great leader yourself.

What Great Leaders Have in Common

Throughout his journey, Steve has also worked with many other great leaders. He’s found that they all have particular things in common.

First, Steve notes that regardless of where a successful leader started, they all brought with them a “feast mentality” as opposed to a “famine mentality”. Steve identifies this feast vs. famine mentality via “whining”. If you whine, instead of doing, you simply can’t have a feast mentality!

Second, all successful leaders are focused on their company’s growth.  Great leaders never focus on their competition. Focusing on competitors and their growth is wasted energy. Furthermore, this errant “competitive focus” takes precious time away from focusing on your own business.

Steve noticed that great leaders are relentless about getting good people on their team. They never hire “cheap people” and they seldom refer to job roles as “positions.” Instead, they made it a point to hire “talent.” Successful leaders are always looking for talent within the market, whether they are hiring or not.

Lastly, the mindset of these successful leaders is always the same: Leaders “lead” people and manage projects. Leaders never “manage” people!

Balance Yourself

Steve has retired twice but notes that he loves to work, which is why he keeps coming back for more. In order to balance oneself, one must invest time to grow personally (time off from work). 

Steve believes that each of us must do life on our own terms, not someone else’s terms. Each of us must lead ourselves first before we can lead others. Each time Steve took a pause in his career, it led to increased success and prosperity!

There’s no profit on a sale you almost made, and there’s no fulfillment in a life that you almost lived. Don’t simply “sit in the stands.”  Get out of the field of play and make something happen! 

Intrigued? Listen to the full conversation here: https://pod.link/1620778231

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Episode #7: Leading and Living on Your Own Terms with Steve Wood

Change Your Filter with Tall Paul

Key Points

  1. Surround yourself with leaders.
  2. Don’t whine, simply go out and do it!
  3. Leadership develops over time, not in a day.

Steve Wood on Change Your Filter

Any successful business owner or CEO knows that in order to grow and succeed, you must have great leaders around you. In episode 7 of the Change Your Filter podcast, we are joined by Steve Wood. Steve is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Johnson Supply. He is also a founding partner of the John Maxwell Team where he is a certified leadership coach and speaker.

Who is Steve Wood

Growing up on a ranch in Texas, Steve had a decision to make. Was he going to continue on the path of working farms and ranches his whole life? Or would he carve a different path? Steve always thought about what it might be like to have an “office life” with a big corner office, so he decided to seek a new life. Steve was driven to go after this new life because of his passion for personal growth. He had no idea what was out there, but he knew he had to explore a life that included more than farms and ranches.

Steve had a friend who worked at the Lennox Corporation who made him aware of an internship they were offering. Steve knew absolutely nothing about the industry and had no formal education. He barely even knew what Lennox did. In a bold move, Steve showed up at the Lennox Chief Engineer’s Office and attempted to persuade them by showing his eagerness to learn!  He soon proved to them he was a hard worker and would happily work for cheaper than his peers.

Lennox

Lennox granted Steve the internship on the condition that he would have 90 days to prove his worth. He was told that he needed to earn the support of the workers on the floor at the end of 90 days in order to be allowed to stay. Furthermore, if he made it through the 90-day probation period, Lennox Corp. would pay for his college education! With this in mind, Steve put his full effort forward and began his work in the Lennox R&D lab at the young age of 20.

Steve was only making $575/month working with Lennox, so he continued to work at the ranch on weekends. He started to get nervous when the 90 days came up as an engineer that had formal education within the industry was fired after his 90 days. Fortunately, at the end of the 90-day period, Steve was offered a full-time position with Lennox! Seeing Steve’s natural leadership potential, the executives at Lennox began to groom him for promotion. This good fortune contributed to Steve’s passion for helping others grow and prosper. Clearly, the experience at Lennox helped mold Steve’s character. Soon, Steve began to comprehend that it’s not always an individual’s education and experience that matters. Instead, it’s drive, desire, and an individual’s willingness to learn that’s important.

How Steve Got to Where He is Today

As time moved on, Steve began to understand that he was good at his job. He was skilled and successful, yet he yearned to work with people as opposed to working on research hypotheses and handling test tubes.

Steve transitioned out of R&D and into the role of “factory service technician”.  In this position, Steve would be responsible for setting up equipment in high-rise office buildings and skyscrapers. Steve was again promoted, first to “factory rep” and then to territory sales manager. Along his journey, Steve was lucky enough to have great mentors that invested in him via their valuable time. Steve gives much credit to his numerous mentors and claims that his success would never have occurred without the help and support they offered. 

Steve notes that “although no one can invest in everyone, all of us can invest in someone!”  When choosing individuals to mentor, Seve cautions to be careful, as “time” is a successful person’s most precious commodity. 

Foundational Principles of Growth & Leadership

Fast forward to today, and Steve is leading a large team of individuals as a VP with Johnson Supply. Prior to hiring members for his team, Steve always ensures each candidate is “coachable.” Steve doesn’t care if they have the existing skills or credentials for the job. Instead, he tries to make sure they have the hunger to learn those skills. Some of the best hires Steve has made had no credentials whatsoever. 

Steve notes that in order to take an organization to the enterprise level, it’s absolutely imperative to build a team of company leaders. In order to grow leadership, individuals must constantly improve their leadership skills.

Leadership develops over time, not in a single day. While on his professional journey, Steve had the pleasure of partnering with John Maxwell who is an advocate and teacher of the 21 laws of leadership. With John Maxwell’s help, Steve began to better understand how he might improve his own personal leadership in an effort to grow both himself and his business. 

Steve found three key principles to be most important: 

  1. The Law of Process: becoming a good leader is continuous and these skills are learned over time.
  2. The Law of Magnetism: if you don’t have the right people around you, it may be because you’re not the kind of person they want to be around. Who you are is who you attract. If you’re a good leader, have a passion for growth, and want people on your team to have integrity, then you must become that type of person.
  3. The Law of Inner Circle: your success is determined by those closest around you. Until you get the right people within your inner circle, you’ll be limited as to how far you can go. You can’t grow your inner circle beyond “who you are” and “what you are”. If you want to attract great leaders, you must first be a great leader yourself.

What Great Leaders Have in Common

Throughout his journey, Steve has also worked with many other great leaders. He’s found that they all have particular things in common.

First, Steve notes that regardless of where a successful leader started, they all brought with them a “feast mentality” as opposed to a “famine mentality”. Steve identifies this feast vs. famine mentality via “whining”. If you whine, instead of doing, you simply can’t have a feast mentality!

Second, all successful leaders are focused on their company’s growth.  Great leaders never focus on their competition. Focusing on competitors and their growth is wasted energy. Furthermore, this errant “competitive focus” takes precious time away from focusing on your own business.

Steve noticed that great leaders are relentless about getting good people on their team. They never hire “cheap people” and they seldom refer to job roles as “positions.” Instead, they made it a point to hire “talent.” Successful leaders are always looking for talent within the market, whether they are hiring or not.

Lastly, the mindset of these successful leaders is always the same: Leaders “lead” people and manage projects. Leaders never “manage” people!

Balance Yourself

Steve has retired twice but notes that he loves to work, which is why he keeps coming back for more. In order to balance oneself, one must invest time to grow personally (time off from work). 

Steve believes that each of us must do life on our own terms, not someone else’s terms. Each of us must lead ourselves first before we can lead others. Each time Steve took a pause in his career, it led to increased success and prosperity!

There’s no profit on a sale you almost made, and there’s no fulfillment in a life that you almost lived. Don’t simply “sit in the stands.”  Get out of the field of play and make something happen! 

Intrigued? Listen to the full conversation here: https://pod.link/1620778231

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By |2022-06-17T14:21:47+00:00June 17th, 2022|Podcast|Comments Off on Episode #7: Leading and Living on Your Own Terms with Steve Wood
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