The Unspoken Rules of Leadership with Jamie Turner

Reading Time: 18 Minutes

In this episode with Jamie Turner, we discuss to be a great leader, the starting point is to work on your mindset first and your skillset second.

Takeaways We Learned from Jamie…

Mindset then skillset.

If you improve the way you think about things, then you can improve how you act on things. And that improves the outcome.

Manage input.

Manage the input to make sure what you put in your brain is appropriate, good, healthy, positive, optimistic, and then take that and make sure the thinking that you have behind it is rational, thoughtful, and appropriate.

Common denominator in your life.

What’s the first line of code in your brain that’s broken? If you have that line of code, then no matter how beautiful you are in the backend, as a human being, and how many skills you have, it’s never going to run properly.

Identify need for change.

The first step to change is acknowledging the need for change. Identify the problem areas in your life and then work on developing a plan to address them.

Work smart.

Working smart is more important than working hard. A shift in mindset can lead to increased productivity and success.

Effective communication.

Effective communication is essential for a successful organization. 80% of corporate problems can be solved with better communication skills.

Clear communication.

Clarity of communication requires having the fortitude to communicate clearly, even if it may hurt someone’s feelings in the short term.

Improved communication.

Improved communication leads to increased productivity, less stress within the organization, and fewer challenges.

About Jamie Turner

Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, professor, consultant, and speaker who has helped employees at The Coca-Cola Company, Holiday Inn, Microsoft, Verizon and others do a better job leading, managing, and mentoring others. To have him speak at your event or organization, email him at: Jamie@JamieTurner.Live

Read the Transcript

Allison: Welcome back to the Deliberate Leaders podcast. I am your host Executive Business Coach Allison Dunn. Today, our topic is the unstoppable rules of leadership. Our guest is Jamie Turner. He is an internationally recognized author, professor, consultant and speaker who has helped hundreds of employees through the Coca Cola company holiday. In fact, Verizon and many others to do a better job leading, managing and mentoring others. Jamie, thank you so much for joining us today.

Jamie: It is great to be here. Should I address you as Allison or Alli? Because I’m I can go either direction on that.

Allison: Yeah. I mean, we’re now friends. I mean, we know stuff. And no one else really knows about us. So call me out.

Jamie: Okay, good. I’ll call you, Alli. That sounds terrific.

Allison: Fantastic. I love to kick these off with a deliberate conversation, what would be your number one leadership tip for our listeners today?

Jamie: Yeah, the number one thing that I talk to everybody about is that it’s more important to work on your mindset first, and then work on your skill set. Second, so if you want to be a good leader, a lot of times we think about the skills that we want to learn well, I need to learn how to use Excel or do a better job with my presentation skills, whatever it is.

The number one thing you can do is work on your mindset, being of course, how you think about things and how you approach things. If you improve the way you think about things, then you can improve how you act on things. And that improves the outcome.

So that three step process, change your thoughts, which will lead to a change in your actions, which will lead to changing the outcomes is a great way to kind of improve your life, whether it’s your personal life or your business life. So a lot of times the number one thing I tell people is focus on your mindset. Think through what it is that you put into your brain not only from news and social media, that’s the input, but also even the thoughts that you have.

Manage the input to make sure what you put in your brain is appropriate, good, healthy, positive, optimistic, and then take that and make sure the thinking that you have behind it is rational, thoughtful, appropriate if you do those things then ultimately over the course of time you’ll see your life getting better and better on both the personal side and the business side.

Allison: I absolutely agree, that’s a fantastic tip. One of my favorite all time books that I audible because I do listen to this one. As a Man Thinketh and I have probably listened to that. I would say no joke, no less than 200 times.

Jamie: Wow. As a Man Thinketh I thought I’ve got over my shoulder because since we have a lot in common we talked about earlier that over my shoulders, man’s search for meeting Meaning by Viktor Frankl, I thought that’s where you were going. But as a man thinketh I’m going to check that out. I’ll have to give it a try.

Allison: it’s one of my obviously my most listened to Audible ever. She’s got a great voice. So it’s a fast, and it’s fun. So listeners, if you if you’ve never heard that tip for me before, on top of the tip that Jamie just shared, it is a must listen to. Thank you for that tip, Jamie.

Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it leads to a great sort of second thing, which is, which is people’s first line of code. And so there’s a story behind this. I’ll talk a lot and we’re in write a lot about what is your first line of code and people are like, what does that mean? Well, the story goes back to I have a brother named Craig, Craig and I have a mutual friend named Fernando had had Fernando hope you’re not listening. But it’s okay. He’d had 24 jobs and 25 years. So my brother Craig goes to Fernando and says, Fernando, what? Why did you lose the latest job? Oh, that was a horrible company. Well, why did you lose the job before that? Oh, my boss was a jerk. Well, why did you lose the job before that? And Fernando had all these reasons why it was other people’s fault. And then Craig finally said, What? What are you noticing here in this pattern, and Fernando said, You know what? I’m the common denominator. And Craig said exactly. And so you have to change. You know what you’re thinking in order to change the outcome you’re having, which is losing your job about every year.

So Craig was telling me the story. And I said, you know, that’s a that’s an important thing that people need to learn what you know, what’s the common denominator? And Craig said, well, Fernando’s first line of code was broken. And I said, What do you mean by that? His first line of code, he said, Well, if you have a software program, and it has a half a million lines of code, and you go When, and have a beautiful software program, but that very first line of code is broken. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the rest of the software is, if that first line of code is broken, it’s never going to run properly.

And I thought that was a great parallel for what we do in our lives, we have first lines of code in our brain that are broken, it may be I’m not good enough.

It may be people don’t like me, it may be people aren’t trustworthy, it may be I always get fired, whatever it is, if you have that line of code, then no matter how beautiful you are in the backend, as a human being, and as a person, and as an employee, you’re never going to have the success that you want. Because you’ve got this first line of code that’s broken.

So a lot of times I talk to people about changing their first line of code, the first step is, what is your first line of code, it may be one of those ones I talked about, it may be something else. But a lot of times, it’s an errant first line of code. And you have to shift that, by the way, I’m about to get a little woowoo with you. But this actually works. This is everything I talked about is science based, even though it can sound kind of a little out there. But it’s all based on science.

There’s something called EFT tapping, which is emotional frequency technique. And basically what you do is you tap your collarbone, and change your thought.

So let me rewind for a second, we’ve talked about first line of code, then we said, if your first line of code is broken, you have to change it. The problem is, is that a lot of times our first line of code is deeply embedded in the neural pathways in our brains, it’s like a, it’s like ruts in a street that are in there. And it’s hard to break out of that. So what you have to do is break the neural pathways, or break the electricity going through the neural pathways in order to shift the thinking. And you can do that by tape, tapping your collarbone vigorously. And then saying something, as you’re thinking about that first line of code, saying something that shifts the thought for me, and it can be a nonsense word.

For me, it’s blueberries, because it’s colorful, they taste like something. It’s this weird, you know, sort of thought coming out of the blue. But by doing that combination of tapping your collarbone and saying something out loud, you can shift the neural pathways, and then start saying what it is that you want to manifest in your life. So let me just do a quick recap, because I know we covered a lot, what a people’s first line of code is broken, you can shift that first line of code by doing EFT tapping, that means you say out loud, whatever your first line of code is, my parents don’t aren’t proud of me, whatever it is.

And then you tap your collarbone and say Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries, whatever it is to shift the thinking, and then start saying to yourself what it is that you want to understand and believe I have a lot to be proud of in myself, and I’m sure my parents have their own way of being proud of me. But you know, may not express it, whatever it is. But that whole process of having a first line of code, and then shifting it with EFT tapping is a great way to kind of shift gears and get your life in order and change the direction you’re going. And so it goes back to working on your mindset first, and your skill set second, and it’s been proven a workout for a lot of people. So anyway, I pass that along. In case it’s helpful to your listeners.

Allison: So that’s such a great tip. I have gone through a process of tapping to overcome some tragedy in my life and kind of help process through that. Do you do tapping as part of your coaching practice? Or is that just a tip that you give to people?

Jamie: Both. So sometimes it’ll be on a stage in front of 1000 people other times I’ll be doing one on one coaching. And I’ll use it both times. But I’m glad to hear that you’ve used it because it has been proven to help people with PTSD. And they go through the tapping exercise. And I think it was 60% of the people who had done it found it to be effective in reducing the PTSD. So it’s, it’s a proven technique. And again, it goes a little bit out there but science proves it that it can work if you use it. And it really, really helps a lot of people.

Allison : Really until I realized that it was it made a significant impact in how I was able to process something that was just unprocessed, unprocessed double at the time.

Jamie: Yes, well I have a quick story on it for me how I came across it. When I was in seventh grade. My mom was a little bit troubled and she disappeared one night and so I woke up the next morning And, and you know, Dad, where’s mom and you know, just sort of family chaos a little bit. And so I get picked up to go play basketball practice. On a cold, rainy February morning, it’s dark outside and I am no good at basketball was horrible. So I’m being driven to school mom’s nowhere to be found I go to the basketball practice I get in a fight with a friend. And the basketball practice is just the worst day of my life. So fast forward 20 3040 years later, when I would come out on a cold morning, and it would be sort of drizzly or whatever, I would have these kind of memories of that really, really horrible time when I was in middle school.

And I thought, how do we get around this? And I came across EFT tapping and said, Oh, okay, cool. So literally what I would do, I would walk outside on cold mornings to go get the newspaper, it’d be dark out. And I do the tapping, do that blueberries, you know, saying blueberries out loud. And it would just shift my thinking and change the neural pathways. And I got literally, I go outside now in a cold, dark morning. Don’t think about that ever. And if I do ever think about it, it’s usually like, oh, wow, I used to come out here and be kind of sad, depressed on a cold, dark, rainy morning, but now I don’t have that anymore. So anyway, lots of stuff covered off on that, but but that hopefully is helpful to some of the people listening.

Allison: Fantastic. I, so how do you how can one self-identify what may be broken in their code?

Jamie: Yeah, that’s an exercise. You just got to go deep on and say, what is it? One thing, there’s two interesting things that came across recently, I have a college roommate, who procrastinates we’re still best friends. But he procrastinates he came from a very difficult childhood. And I came across a study that said a lot of time when people procrastinate, it’s because they had a period in their life where there was chaos. And they trained themselves to learn how to preserve their energy for the next round of chaos in their family. So they would like not do anything, they would found safety and energy in inaction, as opposed to the action, which is the healthy way to do things. And so I went to my college roommate, and I said, Hey, this is interesting, because you had chaos in your life, you procrastinate. Do you think it’s related? And he said, Yeah, it is. I tell that story. Because sometimes we have behaviors, and we don’t really understand where the behaviors come from. But we have to go deep, to find out where the behaviors come from and why they’re there. Or maybe not go deep.

There’s another study that found that people who find themselves consistently having trauma in their lives, or they actually create chaos or create things that fall apart in their lives. It’s because they don’t feel worthy of whatever outcome, Hey, I can’t keep jobs long. Why? Well, I don’t know, I just keep screwing up. Well, maybe it’s because you don’t feel worthy of keeping the job. So then that study found that when you get centered on that, and go, I’m not feeling worthy. So actually create these pathways in my life that don’t really work out. It’s because they’re going through stuff where they’re not feeling worthy. You just got to work on any of those, figure out what they are, go deep, and then maybe use the EFT tapping as a way to kind of change your outcome on it.

Allison: So the diverse self-sabotage reflection of if something’s continuously happening in a way that it may be something that we’re doing that in our thinking that’s causing that.

Jamie: Absolutely. And thank you, I was trying to come up with the word self-sabotage, I just was rolling off my tongue, absolutely self-sabotage. In my life, it came in the form not of deep self-sabotage. But it came in the form of not charging enough for my services, this goes back 10 years. And I was always going to, I always had to work really hard. Because I was never charging enough. I had a friend who said, You’re not going to submit that estimate. This was for a consulting client, until you double what you’re putting on the estimate. I said, I can’t go in and double it. And she said, Absolutely. You were going to double that. I don’t want to hear from you until you go in and tell me that you went in with it doubled.

I went in with a double client didn’t even flinch. And I went came away from that going, what was that all about? I’m not obviously I need to be charging more. And I realized, oh, it’s about not feeling worthy of twice as much money. And then my client effectively told me, yeah, you’re worth every penny. We’re fine with that. So again, we have these behaviors sometimes that are deeply rooted in subconscious and it takes work with a coach like you to kind of work through that and figure out how do you get to the other side of that, but There is a path to the other side first step is self awareness, identifying it. Second step is taking action on things that can help you get to the other side.

Allison: Great example, and I think one that probably many listeners can relate to on that, just that one thing of the value that we place on ourselves. And I’d say the most other common one that I hear is that they believe in the heart in order to be successful. And I just simply don’t believe that’s true. You have to work smart. You know? That is a change in thinking.

Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. I love that work smart. Not necessarily hard, although all of us, you know, have a have energy.

Most of us have energy and want to work a reasonable amount, but I’m making more money than I ever have. And yet, I’m working smarter.

I just have said, not going to do it anymore. Not going to put in the hours like I used to. And I look back on just the hard work I did. I’m like if I had just had that work, smarter attitude, you know, then, you know, boy would have been a different ballgame.

Allison: Totally. So let’s pivot our conversation to leadership. Why is effective leadership so important? And I’m asking it, and not as a rhetorical question, but like to really understand why is it so important?

Jamie: Yeah, in the end, if you think of any organization, any company that makes something or provides a service, they let’s say you’re making widgets, you know, just an imaginary product. At the end of the day, your competitors make weird widgets that are just about as good your competitors make widgets that are priced about what you’re making, the only thing you really have control over to grow your market share as a business is your brand image. And that’s not what we’re here to talk about today.

This but the second thing, equally important is your people, the better the people are prepared, the more they’re good at leading themselves and leading others.

The fewer challenges you have, the more productivity you have, the less stress you have within an organization.

So at the end of the day, success in organizations comes down to does your brand sell itself and are your people as talented as they possibly can be? Are they good at leading themselves as well as leading others. And if you do those two things, suddenly, you can charge more, you take a look at Apple, Apple charges twice as much for a computer than their competitors. Why? Because they have an amazing brand. And because they sat around and said, We’re going to hire the best trained them how to do the best job, they possibly can function at a very, very high level.

So that we don’t have the sideways energy that so many organizations have where they have chaos going on or drama going on that isn’t moving the needle for the corporation, they focus on that and say, if we’re going to hire the best people, we’re going to train them right, get the best leaders, that means we’re going to have more fluidity in the way we work. And that will enable us to charge twice as much as our competitors do for the same product. Well, arguably not the exact same product, but for a product that is 20%. Better, we get to charge 100% More, that’s a great value proposition.

Allison: Definitely. So with our listeners have leaders in place, and let’s assume that they to some degree are obviously being effective in some way, what is the best way to become even more effective?

Jamie: Communication skills is the is that 80% of all problems in corporations can be solved with better communication.

And better communication comes in the form of many things, it can be active listening, just sort of being more present, it can be empathy. But the main thing I talk about a lot of times to organizations is Hey, at the end of the day, if you can improve your communication skills, you’re going to be able to actually function more smoothly.

And make sure that you get things done a lot more easily. So and there’s two sort of in very, very broad strokes to kind of dynamics on communication, there’s frequency of communication, as well as clarity of communication, frequency of communication can help.

When I consult with organizations, I’ll go in and they’ll say we’re, you know, we’re not doing well on this section of our business. And I know that we all have too many meetings already. But one of the first things I often do is say, we’re going to meet Tuesday mornings at 10am for a 30 minute status meeting so that everybody on this team, all 12 of them, all 20 of them, whatever it is, can communicate and share things. It’s not. This meeting is not for brain storming. It’s not for ideation. It’s not for anything, it’s just communication so that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. The other thing is clarity of communication a lot of times People are afraid of communicating clearly. And you can do that by just actually, you know, having the fortitude to sit down and say, I know it may hurt your feelings when I say your idea isn’t going to work for our organization.

But I’m going to tell you that now so that you don’t waste time moving forward with this idea, when we really don’t need to be doing it. And as you mature as an executive, of course, it gets easier and easier to do that.

The trick is to be kind, but also clear. And if you’re kind and clear, you can save your organization a lot of trouble.

You’re going in and saying, hey, guess what, we’re not going to do your idea. Sorry, it’s not right for us right now, or whatever that communication is. So just to recap, frequency of communication is important. But, but I am aware, we all have too many meetings already. But clarity of communication, actually, really Trump’s frequency of communication, if you can do it more, more concisely and clear as he go through it.

Allison: I am not going to build a quote exactly where the research came from Jamie. But I think that it’s relevant to share at this point in time. So there was some research that was done in like on a spectrum of clarity and, and then level inside the organization. The folks that were closest of the service and our product had a significant amount of clarity, you move to middle management, and they have less clarity, you move to leadership, and that’s where the most lack of clarity exists inside of membership.

Jamie: Isn’t that amazing? You know, you get to the top and there’s less clarity. That’s just really amazing research. I’m glad you shared that, because that’s just fascinating.

Allison: You. So the topic of our podcast today is the unspoken rules of leadership. What is the unspoken rules of leadership all about?

Jamie: You know, it came as a result of me realizing that there were a lot of things that people don’t talk about, when it comes to leadership. It literally started when I had a organization I was working with as a consultant, the key person I was working with was a young guy, really nice guy, hard worker, and also smart. But he grew up in a family that you know, sort of was a little disruptive, didn’t really have wasn’t used to working in a corporate environment. So he’s clunking along and not getting the sort of promotions that he probably deserved, or the raises. And finally I went to him and I said, Hey, listen, if you allow me to talk to you about things that they don’t allow me to talk to you about, I can help you a lot. And he said, What do you mean, I said, there’s so many little things that you could be doing differently. Like just dressing like you know the person you want to get promoted to your dressing a certain way that kind of Telegraph’s to people that you’re not interested in moving your way up the corporate ladder, and I know you are, but you your boss can’t tell you that I’m an outsider, I can get away with it.

Because I’m not going to get HR knocking on my door. You can’t talk to Thomas about the way he dresses, I can’t can and I said if you’re okay with it, I can tell you 1000 Things that you can do to work your way up to fix. And he said that would be awesome, I would love it. So I got his permission, first and foremost.

I went in and started giving him these little tips, I realized these were the unspoken tips, they’re the things that your boss is probably not going to tell you. Because you’re in a corporate environment. You know, we have to be careful about how we talk about certain things and all that sort of stuff.

And it was enabled me to have an honest, straightforward conversation with him about the things that can help improve your career, that aren’t written about normally in books, although I got a book coming out in this soon. So soon, it will all be written about in books, but all sorts of stuff that it doesn’t show up in research papers, a lot of times, things like that. So it was the beginning of the unspoken rules. These are things people should tell you, but they don’t.

Allison: Interesting, I may personally take it for granted that I do have that type of permission with clients. So, you know, go back to my corporate days, I kind of wish that people would have said, you know, by the way, Ali, this is not serving you. Well, please don’t do that. Or you should consider you know, the way that you say this is to direct or you know, that the things that you wish you get as feedback we get to give when we’re coaches.

Jamie: Yeah, that is true. That is true because we have permission and we’re allowed to do that. One of the things my father told me years ago, this just one of the things he said trigger this.

He said your boss has 30 things on their mind that are stressing them out if you can go in and relieve them of two or three of those things, they will be grateful to you and they’ll give you more and more responsibility as you go on.

That’s the kind of thing that like, isn’t in a textbook and it’s not, you know, as a coach, you might tell the people you coach that, but nobody who doesn’t have a coach like you is sitting around getting that information from somebody. So these are the little nuggets of information that you can use to improve your career. It’s just a shame where people don’t, you know, where we don’t have a body of them as much as we should in terms of being able to talk about them.

Allison: Right. Congratulations on your upcoming book. That’s fantastic. Where will people be able to buy that?

Jamie: It’ll be everywhere so you’ll be able to buy it in Barnes and Noble as well as on Amazon all that sort of stuff. It’s in the early stages right now of the writing the manuscript, but it’ll be available everywhere probably about this time next year. So January, February of 2024. Believe it or not.

Allison: Right, fantastic. So appreciate it our conversation I want to make sure that our listeners know what’s the very best way to follow you.

Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. I’m on social media for some odd reason I took off on tick tock I’ve got 50,000 plus followers there even though I’m talking about stuff that is like absolutely not a tick tock thing. But interestingly, from a personal branding perspective, I decided you know, everybody’s trying to be funny and silly on Tik Tok, I’m going to do the opposite. And just be straightforward. Like I’m having a cup of coffee with you. And given you a tip and you know, 60 seconds or less of every social media platform, I’m asked Jamie Turner. And then if you want to, you can just google me and I’ll be all over the first page of Google but if you want to go to unspoken rules, dot live. That’s where you’ll find a lot of stuff about the unspoken rules of leadership. So it’s unspoken, unspoken rules dot live.

Allison: All right, fantastic. Jamie, thank you so much for joining us here today.

Jamie: Yeah, thanks for having me, Alli. I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

Join our list for exclusive tips, content and a welcome gift – our ebook on how to engage your team and boost profits.