Jordan Raynor is a serial entrepreneur who has bought and sold several fast-growing businesses by the time he turned 30. He’s been a Google Fellow and spoken at SXSW, Harvard and TEDx.
He talks about what makes for a successful launch, the qualities and characteristics that make for great entrepreneurs, and why so much of the career advice people give young leaders is wrong.
Welcome to Episode 312 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
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Pre-order a copy of Jordan Raynor’s book, Master of One: Find and Focus on the Work You Were Created to Do, before January 27, and you can enter to win a trip to Barcelona, dinner with the author, and a 7-night European cruise for two! Details at jordanraynor.com.
3 Insights from Jordan
1. You are less important to the success of your organization than you think
Many senior leaders worry that if they leave their organizations, everything will fall apart. They know that they have raised up good leaders but are worried that, without them, it will fail anyways. This is what Jordan Raynor was expecting when he left his role as CEO of the organization he in now chair of the board with.
When he left, he thought, “Oh man, there’s going to be something that blows up because I’m not here,” but nothing did. This was a humbling lesson for him that God has the ability to put the people in the right seats on the bus with or without you. Everyone in an organization is dispensable. Including the CEO.
2. If you want to succeed, you have to identify and cut out the noise
While he was CEO of Threshold 360, the leadership of the organization asked him what strength they should be looking for in his replacement. Jordan said that the most valuable ability he has is the ability to look at his daily calendar and identify and cut out the things that won’t actually push their mission forward.
As CEO, he worked to relentlessly eliminate distractions from his daily work, and he would spend good chunks of his day with his phone on do not disturb, or not even with him. Every morning, he would look at the work he had to do and decide what was most important for him to focus on that day.
3. Passion follows mastery
One of the worst pieces of advice is sadly one of the most common we are giving the upcoming generation. “Find something you are passionate about in life, and build a career around it.” What researchers like Amy Wresniewski are discovering is that people don’t become truly passionate about something until they master it.
So when we ask a high school senior what they want to do with their life, we’re asking a question that they don’t know how to respond to, because they haven’t mastered a lot of things, so they can’t tell you what they are passionate about. Often, highly successful people will have many different careers that are working towards the same discipline that they are trying to master.
Quotes from Episode 312
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Francis Chan
Francis Chan caused quite a stir when, in late 2019, he announced he was going back to Asia. Francis clarifies what he’s actually doing, talks about the impact social media controvery has on real people, apologizes for the confusion and talks transparently about the tension of living a public life where your words get misconstrued again and again. Plus, Francis gives advice on how to use social media, what young leaders should think about, and talks about his hope for the US church.
Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 313.