Jonathan Jones is a transformational speaker & #1 Amazon Best-selling Author of "Process: 14 Surprisingly Simple Behaviors to Skyrocket Millennials to Success" and founder of his own company Jonathan Jones Speaks. This interview will inspire many of you to own the heart of servant leadership, embrace authenticity and work to change the perception of our generation.
Here is our full interview with Jonathan Jones with commentary by Randall Garcia of MillenniaLeadership.
Q: Who are you (in 25 words or less)?
Jonathan: I am the son of two phenomenal parents who view life through an optimistic lens. I realize that serving others is the secret to my success. Randall: I love that answer. It's funny, but most people have a difficult time answering this question so clearly. We're off to a great start, I am always preaching servant leadership... And it seems like you have a servant's heart. In my opinion, this is one of the key things that contributes to the leader's overall success yet leader's forget very easily. I can see why many young people have gravitated towards your leadership.
Q: How do you define leadership in your own terms?
Jonathan: A leader is an individual who is willing to take the first step and is willing to learn from his or her mistakes. An individual who is willing to do the work knowing that they may never receive the credit. Randall: This is simple, yet very profound. One of my good friend's usually says, "This is simple advice, but not easy to do." All leaders must be willing to lead others with vision and simultaneously learn from their mistakes. Leader's must remember that we are imperfect people and mistakes will be made! Some of the biggest lessons I have learned have been a result from one of my failures.
Q: What are your 5 core values as a leader?
Jonathan: Integrity, discipline, work ethic, investing in others, and leading by example
Randall: Great! I too have integrity as one of my core values. It is essential for a leader to have this. If they don't they will be exposed! I also love how your last two are focused on others. Again, I love that your leadership style is focused on others.
Q: How can a leader fail? Tell me about a time when you failed as a leader (and what you learned as a result)
Jonathan: I failed by making the mistake of believing other people’s hype about me. I became so caught up in the accolades that I received for my work and I began to think that I was better than others; I selfishly made everything about me. I went into a me mindset: “They can’t replace ME.” “They need ME!” Later I realized that gearing everything into a selfish mindset caused me to lose the focus of my job and title. I was setting a negative example by being so selfish and all of the individuals who were under my leadership could be indirectly influenced by this culture that I was growing at my store. I have learned that the way we lead others can be of great benefit or of demise, so lead wisely.
Randall: It's not so easy for leader's to be as authentic as you are being right now, that is also a great quality that I can see that you possess. Leader's recognize their mistakes and learn from them. It's great that you learned this fairly quickly, as sometimes it takes people too long to recognize this huge mistake. Selfishness can cripple one's leadership potential.
Q: What is the most difficult part of being a leader?
Jonathan: You have to accept and understand that every decision won’t always be a popular one. You have to make a choice of what is for the greater good of all, not just the few.
Randall: Ahhhh... Yes! Decision making is tough, especially when others have different opinions. It can be hard to go against what is popular. This is why I encourage all leaders to form their vision statement, or as some like to call it... Their "why" statement. This is powerful, along with having an established set of core values, because it keeps the leader grounded in what their life's purpose is. If you aren't clear on this, decisions can be that much tougher to make! Many times when faced with a big decision, I reflect on my core values and my vision statement.
Q: How do you measure success for you as a leader?
Jonathan: I measure success by the amount of long-term impact on others and the relationships I create. I impact others positively by my ability to influence others to be sustained on their own good and creating a culture so that others understand that when they have been taught, they now have the duty to teach the generation of leaders coming up behind them.
Randall: The key words that stand out to me are "long-term impact" which tells me that you are looking at the big picture and legacy factor! I love it!
Q: Have you ever taken on a job that you were unqualified for?
Jonathan: Yes, I have when I worked at a non-profit as a program manager. I had no prior experience in the field or even in the non-profit sector prior to receiving this job. After just a few weeks I oversaw 70 plus locations with about 150 employees servicing about 5,000 meals throughout the course of a year during an after school program. This was a daunting task although through late nights and great teammates, we made it work.
Randall: Sometimes it can be really scary to take these big steps into leadership positions without experience, but I am betting that through this experience, you experienced tremendous growth!
Q: How do you view the millennial generation?
Jonathan: I view my generation as the most gifted, full of potential, most educated generation of all time. With the right push and inspiration, there is a true spark that can truly shift the culture around us, although we must find what gets that drive going to achieve and cause social change.
Randall: As leaders, we must find the good in people first and foremost. I totally agree, with the right push and inspiration, we can harness the power within ourselves to shift the culture around us. I know that you and I both have a passion for leading young leaders into success. The biggest difference between us is that you have actually written an Amazon best-selling book about this! I think our readers should definitely check it out!
Q: How do you think the millennial generation is perceived?
Jonathan: I’ve heard the millennial generation perceived as negative, lazy, entitled, and viewed as individuals without a work ethic.
Randall: These are the negative stereotypes that really upset a lot of us positive, hard-working and inspirational leaders such as you and I. Although you and I don't fit the mold, we both feel that it is our job to inspire the next generation of leaders and break these stereotypes. I would much rather others view our generation as you do, "the most gifted, full of potential, most educated generation of all time."
Q: Why are you so passionate about leading millennials?
Jonathan: I want to see the full potential that this generation has. I know there are so many unique leaders and innovators in this generation. I understand that they have the potential and the ability to rise and empower the generation following behind us. If we don’t take this job seriously the generation behind us will suffer for it. I am driven by that understanding. I also would hate to see us labeled as individuals who didn’t excel to their truest potential.
Randall: One of my key things that I do here with the MillenniaLeadership platform is to provide a place that showcases the genius within our generation. You, my friend, are part of that genius. Thank you for being a light in the darkness and an inspiration to many. Please keep in close contact as we both seek to inspire the next generation of leaders!
Wow! I know that this interview has inspired you! Leaders, if you aren't leading with passion and inspiration you are doing something wrong. Jonathan has given us a few things that has made him a successful and impactful leader. Take it in and live it out!
#1 Amazon Best-selling Author of "Process: 14 Surprisingly Simple Behaviors to Skyrocket Millennials to Success" by Jonathan Jones. Process Overview: These principles are not a get rich quick scheme, nor will they always give you results the first time you try them. However, if you stick with them, you’ll eventually thank me. You’ll be shown what it takes to improve your own life’s value. Jonathan Jones delivers an inspiring and powerful story that shows us how to rid ourselves of something to which we can all relate–negative people or, even worse, a negative mindset. It was just another day at work where, many times, this young man would go through the motions and excel as a retail salesman at the local mall. However, there were a few areas where he lacked. He was no stranger to hard work but the longer he worked at this company, the more he began to notice that he was becoming somewhat of a negative Nancy. Unfortunately, these shortcomings were virtually overlooked by him until one day when he asked the question to which he wasn’t yet ready to hear the answer. There was a sudden shift that not only engendered his life to be changed but transformed his outlook as well. In the midst of my own struggles, I have looked at the No Complain Campaign as a way to share hope with others even during times I wasn’t sure if I had it in myself. The No Complain Campaign is my own personal way of inspiring and keeping individuals motivated daily. By helping others see the grace of God and helping them illuminate the message of the Gospel, We know that we are never too far out of Gods reach to change our lives. The No Complain Campaign helped inspire the book Process14 Surprisingly Simple Behaviors to Skyrocket Millennials to Success. For anyone who wants to make a change to become a better person, this book is for you. Managers, presidents and CEOs looking to implement strategies that will yield the best results, should look no further than Process. This book shares action steps to cure that contagious disease called negativity.
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