YouTube launched Jefferson Bethke to fame in 2012 when a video he posted got millions of views. Since then, he’s spent his entire life online, pivoting through all the changes in algorithm, platforms and audience.
Jeff and Carey reflect on what it’s like to be the first generation to be able to do that with your life, why having a fluid strategy matters, and how to stay sane in the midst of it all as a young leader while raising a family.
Welcome to Episode 317 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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3 Insights from Jefferson
1. Our mass self-branding might be doing more harm than good
In our modern world of technology, every single human being has become a brand. We all post our highlight reels online, and that is okay as long as it isn’t getting in the way of those scenarios, and that we aren’t creating moments strictly for social media. Jefferson would caution us against falling into this trap.
When we fall into this trap, we end up taking a 3D object (human beings) and try to show it in a 2D medium (social media). When we do this, we cheapen a bit of the human experience, and end up damaging our perception of people and dehumanizing them.
2. You have to treat your family as a team on mission
One struggle for driven leaders is finding a way to lead a thriving family and a thriving professional life. Jefferson has learned to bridge that gap by prioritizing his family as a team. He asks venues to fly his whole family in for events, and if they aren’t coming with him, they pray for him as a branch of the “family team.”
He has learned that this needs to stay his top priority in life. If he doesn’t prioritize his family, his kids might end up resenting his work and maybe even him. Another way he avoids this is by taking individual trips with his kids, trying to incorporate fun into the trip. This has massive payoff.
3. Sabbath is a time of celebration, not a discipline to endure
So many leaders view sabbath as a discipline that is nearly impossible to do on a regular basis. Jefferson has realized that sabbath is more of a celebration than a discipline. He takes 24 hours to be with his family and only do life-giving things.
On their sabbath, they eat the best food, have fun doing things they don’t normally get to do, and try to intentionally spend less time on technology. Looking back, viewing sabbath as a celebration has been the most valuable discipline they have instituted as a family.
Quotes from Episode 317
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: Jennie Allen
Jennie Allen never expected to be leading a massive movement involving millions of people around the world, but that’s exactly where she finds herself. She talks about how she stays grounded, what contributes to the downfall of so many leaders, and how to model your leadership differently.
Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 318.