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Being Strategic with Your Book and Business Model | Jan Rutherford & Shannon Huffman Polson

Being Strategic with Your Book and Business Model | Jan Rutherford & Shannon Huffman Polson | 396

Competing on a higher level with thought leadership.

This was originally a LinkedIn Live recorded on October 6th, 2021.

In our first Leveraging Thought Leadership Live session, we invited two amazing guests to speak with us about challenges and the grit it takes to overcome them.

Jan Rutherford is a former Green Beret, and the founder of Self-Reliant Leadership. He’s also the author of The Littlest Green Beret: On Self-Reliant Leadership.

Shanon Huffman-Polson is one of the first female Apache helicopter pilots, and also the founder of The Grit Institute and author of The Grit Factor: Courage, Resilience, and Leadership in the Most Male Dominated Organization in the World.

Together, these two brilliant leaders, vets, and authors, discuss with us the importance of laying down a strategic plan early in your thought leadership journey. We discuss how they found ways to convey their leadership experience in methods that help others learn from it, and developing avatars to help reach the audience who needs you the most. The conversation covers the need to iterate in order to stay on top of your game, and how to listen to the market in order to keep your business growing with today’s needs.

Jan and Shannon share why they chose to become authors, and their reasons for wanting to write a book about their personal experience. Both created books that focused on making their personal stories a delivery mechanism for inspiration, insight, and ideas that others can use to improve their lives.

If you missed this episode when it was live, this is the perfect opportunity to get caught up.

Three Key Takeaways:
  • Understand your thought leadership’s deeper purpose, identify the people you want it to serve, and reach out to them early in your career.
  • The market will tell you what it values — which might be different than what you want! Be open and willing to listen, and change course toward success.
  •  It can be easy to create thought leadership based on our experiences, but it shouldn’t be about you. Make sure you are giving your audience something they can use.

If you need a strategy to bring your thought leadership to market, Thought Leadership Leverage can assist you! Contact us for more information. In addition, we can help you implement marketing, research, and sales. Let us help you so you can devote yourself to what you do best.




Peter Winick And here we are.

Peter Winick Welcome, everybody. This is the launch of our LinkedIn live version of Leveraging Thought Leadership. So I want to welcome you all here. And I’m really excited to kick this off with two folks that I’ve had the privilege of working with. And I would consider friends and people I admire and respect greatly for their accomplishments, pre thought leadership and then during fall leadership.

Peter Winick So let me start with Shannon. So Shannon is an author of a book called The Grit Factor. She’s the founder of the Grit Institute, and she’s an amazing keynoter. And then she was one of the first women to fly an Apache helicopter in in combat. So that’s officially badass in my world. That’s amazingly cool. More importantly, she’s an amazing human being and does all sorts of cool fundraising in her local community and is raising her kids and doing all sorts of cool stuff.

Peter Winick And then we’ve got another old friend, Jan Rutherford. Jan is a former Green Beret and an author as well. His book was called The Little Green Beret. Now, every time I tell people I work for the guy that wrote a book called The Little Green Beret, they always ask, why did he write a book called The Little Green Beret? That’s also part of his bio. He became one of the youngest at 17 Green Berets, and he weighed only £114 when he did it, which led me to believe just on the weight category, I might have been able to be a Green Beret in second grade, but probably not. So I want to welcome you both here, and thank you for taking your time out of your schedules. But I thought I would start with is the importance of sort of laying down the foundation of a solid strategy before you dove into this thought leadership universe. So any thoughts on that when we start, Jan?

Jan Rutherford Well, I mean, you know, it’s interesting, I, I, I lead expeditions with executives of military veterans. And the big takeaway is always you’ve got to slow down to speed up. And, you know, I think that’s, you know, going into business. I mean, there’s a certain part of you basically taking a step back. And I remember, you know, meeting you, Peter, it was a National Speakers Association meeting and you had this talk. And I remember one of the first things you said was, how many of you are making $100,000 a year speaking or from your book, nobody raise your hand. And you went in this whole thing about, you know, what thought leadership really means. And it was before, you know, people were talking about influencers, right? And what it really meant to be a thought leader. And it’s funny how over the years since that you first introduce a concept. I realize that anybody that’s even in sales these days, anybody that’s an entrepreneur, has to be a thought leader if they’re going to move their business forward. And I just got off the phone today with a CEO, an up and coming great immigrant story, everything. And he said, I need to get out there with my story more so. And it’s interesting. I mean, part of it is really taking an assessment at the very beginning and figuring out what is it that I want to do with whom and why, and then then figuring all the details out. And I think that’s what I remember. You really helping me take a step back.

Peter Winick Well, thank you. Shannon, how would you think about that? Well, I think you’re me. There we go.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Yeah, I am. I would. I think Jan’s points are excellent. I have tended to continue to iterate, I would say, as I as I go, which is just how I how I tend to do things. But at the same time, one of the things that I see people early on in their careers in this area doing that I think they could do better is that you have to think about the ways that not that you just have good ideas or that you have interesting experience, but that both. How do you convey those experiences in a way that another person can receive them? And that means understanding those other people and what their needs are and what their environments are. It also means boiling things down because I hear so much. I have these summary experiences in many cases or stories that only have to do with kind of the story itself, as opposed to how does this actually add value to somebody else? How can I translate this in a way that is now meaningful and tactically helpful or strategically helpful for another person in another realm? And I think that’s a real opportunity to get that in place before you get out there.

Peter Winick Yeah. I love that. I want to push on. You know, when you mentioned to other people, one of the things that we work on the front end is, you know, getting really specific with those other people. Right. So. So on the one hand, could everybody benefit from reading both of your books? Sure. You know, is it efficient for both of you to focus on getting your work out into the universe to everyone? Probably not. Because, you know, as far as I know, you have the budgets of Coca-Cola behind you. So you have to figure out who is most important, who you advertise, who you’re trying to serve, and how everything that you do from a strategic perspective is focused on getting your messaging to them the right format, the right modalities, all those sort of things.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Exactly.

Peter Winick Yeah. Cool. You know, I want I want to comment on something that you said a moment ago, Jan, about, you know, well, it seems like everybody is a thought leader. And I, I don’t know if I totally agree with that. I think there’s a place for everyone to experiment and work with thought leadership. And I think, you know, whether you’re you know, when you’re in sales, particularly in sales where you’re more front facing, it’s the ultimate antidote to commoditization, because it doesn’t matter what you do, whether you’re in professional services or commodities or selling software or technology or whatever. We’re all facing commoditization. And I always believe that followership is a way to sort of punch above your weight and commoditize, because now you’re just another guy selling me techno, you’re another guy selling me tech. But that Jan guy has a point of view and that’s stuck in my mind.

Jan Rutherford Well, I think to me, if you’re a leader in any way, shape or form, if you’re a teacher in any way, shape or form, or if you’re a salesperson any way, shape or form, you’re trying to influence other people. And hopefully for noble reasons. That you think what you have is a value. It’s going to make people’s lives better in some way, shape or form. And so, you know, again, if you’re just looking to transact, hey, I’ve got an idea and I want you to buy it. Whether you’re a leader, teacher or salesperson, I think people are going to push back. But if you’re a thought leader, you’ve recognized patterns, you’ve thought about something, you’ve presented a unique point of view, and you can tug on the strings of what’s in it for me and the drivers of other people. Sure. I think I think you can move people. And so, you know, again, I think, you know, there’s not enough room for every everybody to be an influencer, but maybe in different ways. There are, you know, and, you know, more than ever, I mean, what you’re partly trying to overcome is people that don’t have as open of a mind as you would like. So you’re trying to speak their language. I mean, and I look at, you know, what I’ve been doing for the past ten years. I mean, it’s still iterating, as Shannon said. And, you know, just this past week, I’m like, I think what I do falls into three buckets, you know, and here’s what I’m seeing. And I’m constantly trying to figure out, you know, I am constantly trying to figure out what makes a leader. I mean that I know that’s a forever quest.

Peter Winick When those buckets change. So, Shannon, I’ll go to, you know, your primary bucket or one of your primary buckets in gender language. A year and a half ago was keynote speaker. Then we had this little inconvenience called COVID. And unless you’re able to convince three or 500 people to show up on your front lawn and hear you talk, you probably had to make some changes to the flight plan, if you will.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, last year was a great forcing function in the sense that after six months of complete, and total quiet, we started to work virtually and we started to do keynotes virtually, and we found ways to make those really inspiring and interesting and engaging. And actually, I sort of love that opportunity. It’s another way to engage in other way to engage more broadly in some regards. But then it was also the opportunity to launch into doing leaders some leadership facilitation online and developing workbooks and developing courses that really engage people where they were and met, needs that weren’t being met and went deeper into some of the material as well. So it was just it was launching the book, it was taking the keynotes and then taking going now into this place where it’s leadership facilitation with both online courses and facilitated courses has been a really amazing way to blow it out. And there was certainly stress in the development of it based on the timeline, but the really exciting stuff and it’s been amazing to see the traction that it gets.

Jan Rutherford Yeah. If I could, Peter. You know, one of the things that supposedly only the CEO can do is interpret the meaningful outside. But I think over the last 18 months, we’ve all had to figure out, you know, how do we interpret the meaningful outside? In other words, what is the market saying? And, you know, the best adviser I’ve had is my wife. And she always says the market will tell you what it values. And it’s been so true.

Peter Winick Clearly.

Jan Rutherford Over the course of my journey for ten years, you know, what the market values in me is different than what I wanted it to be at the beginning. And then I sort of gave into it and I went, this is what this is what the market values and this is what I’m going to reinforce and put more uumph behind. And it’s been you know, it’s sort of remarkable. And I think for budding entrepreneurs, it’s you know, they have an idea of what they want it to be. Boy, they really need to be open to the fact that there’s going to be things that that push back against it or things that are easier and to pay attention to that.

Peter Winick Now, I think that’s well said. And, you know, in terms of that shift of the market, there’s totally different expectations between what the buyer of a keynote, back in the old days, was looking for. It’s hey, you know, we believe your story. This is cool. Come out for an hour or 45 minutes, be engaging, be entertaining, inspire the troops, if you will, and then go home. Right now, they might take that same money or even some multiple of that investment and say, you know what? We’re not doing that anymore for lots and lots of reasons, but I’ll make that investment. And you, if you can develop the capabilities in my people that enable them to develop a skill that drives a business outcome. Totally different formula. Totally, totally different game. So I want to could either of you speak to that, because I know you’ve both gone through that transformation.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Well, and Peter just I’m actually literally sitting in the lobby of a conference center after having just delivered a keynote. So you know, you’re not wrong at all. And in fact, they come back both live and virtually in some pretty meaningful ways. But it’s nice to be able to augment that with going deeper with the learning and going deeper, of course, with I mean, the book was the result of years of research and so that is what I’ve been speaking on anyway for a while. But, but it is great to have a several pronged approach and I think you helped me see that early on.

Peter Winick Thank you. And then you mentioned you did you have something on that track?

Jan Rutherford Question, I, I think, you know, it’s interesting because, you know, I have so many people, CEOs basically saying to me these days is, you know, I need to scale. I went to Harvard, I went to work and I went here. I went there. Right. Jan, what does scale mean? How do I do it? I mean, and they’re not they’re not being sarcastic. They’re like, you know, how do you do it? And there’s a lot of things I say. But, you know, one of the more cliche things is, you know, hey, if you want to grow your organization, you grow your people. Let’s really look at that. And but it’s a real struggle right now because we know there’s that crazy 35, 40% attrition in some of the tech firms. Yes. And so they’re thinking, do I really want to invest in these folks for my competitors? And, you know, and I think, again, what I think has happened is that in addition to learning and all that, we then a lot of people have let the culture go by default. You know, over the last 18 months, it’s kind of like, you know, where they have rules and unspoken rules about how they interact when they were all together. They’ve let it all go by the wayside. And so now they have these cultures that are sort of decayed, and then they’re wondering why it’s so hard to bring them back and create learning and produce better outcomes in their people. So there’s a lot going on. And again, I’ll wrap this up as I think everybody wants a quick fix.

Peter Winick Yeah.

Jan Rutherford And there isn’t a quick fix. And I’ll tell you, there’s been plenty of times I’ve said, I know you want training. Training is not going to fix this.

Peter Winick Well, when they say training, they’ll say, great. So this has been going on for five years. Here are people have a lack of trust. Are there silos, whatever. Could you come in in 45 minutes and fix all this ridiculous expectation? Right. I could just.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Right.

Peter Winick We’ve all learned things. We’ve all mastered things. We’ve all developed capabilities. No one’s done it in five.

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I want to touch on books. But there’s every you know, there’s lots and lots of discussions in books. In fact, there’s an article in the Times yesterday around the supply chain finally hitting the publishing industry. You can’t even get like crazy, crazy stuff. So, Jan, when I met you, your book was already locked and loaded and done. Shannon, your book with sort of a concept when we first met. And you both done really, really well with the book, but want to talk about sort of maybe just the journey, right? Because I think there’s this this thing of I have to write a book and I think the answer is no, you have to write the book. You want to write for the right reasons at the right time. So.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know.

Peter Winick Yeah.

Shannon Huffman-Polson I think it’s helpful to have one for sure. In the way that I work in the world. But. But I’ve also I think of myself as a writer and an idea person. And that’s very much who I am. And I think there are other people who do well and don’t necessarily need to go that path. But, um, I, I really, I mean, I love it. So I think you’ve got to do the things that you love to do, right? And I love to work with ideas. I love to work with people and, and to develop that into ideas that other people can, can. I hate to use the word consume, but that’s what people use lately for content. Right. But I love to form ideas and stories and meaningful ways that make an impact in people’s lives. And so because of that, the book was a natural extension of that. So.

Peter Winick Great. And Jan, what was your book?

Jan Rutherford I wrote the book for me. Originally, I mean, I knew I always wanted to write it. I wrote it for me. It was based on the course I taught at the University of Colorado for MBA students, and I knew I needed a platform. I knew that was the ticket. And I remember thinking, Should I get a Ph.D.? Should I write a book? And I went the book route. But since then, I’ve written a chapter in another book that was just published in the U.K. called Purposeful People. And I’m working on another book with a coauthor on The Crucible Expeditions. We’ve run and we’re collecting. Of the 200 plus people that have been on our trips, we’re collecting their stories and we’re tying those into a book because everybody can’t go on our expeditions. But we want them to experience what we learn when a group of really great people come together and form a team. So now I’m motivated in a different way to get a message out. And again, there’s no you know, I don’t have bestseller aspirations or any I just I just want to I want to I want people to know what happens on these trips, what’s so remarkable.

Peter Winick Yeah.

Jan Rutherford It might be replicated in the regular business world.

Peter Winick So the point, yeah, the point that you made about well and I wrote it for myself, I think that’s a critical piece, meaning, you know, one of the benefits of writing a book and there’s many is, is it’s a forcing mechanism, right, to get it tight, to get it concise, to be able to say, what is that the best way to either tell the story of the point I’m trying to make, or what is it that I’m that I’m trying to get done? What is it that I’m trying to say? How am I trying to say it? So I think that Do It for Yourself is a good piece as well.

Shannon Huffman-Polson And Jan, I love hearing you talk about the ideas and what you’ve just contributed to with the title, as well as what you’re looking at as The Crucible. And I would say one thing that I feel like, and I hope this isn’t an unpopular opinion. I worked hard with the Grit Factor knowing that I have one experience and that’s filtered through my own lens and my own time that I served. And so I didn’t want it to be about me. I wanted that to inform the story, of course, but and how I deliver it. But it really ended up being dozens of other people that were willing to contribute stories and ideas. So that became about the concepts and the ideas. And I think in a way, like, we have enough we have enough stories about individual people’s things, stories, and they’re all very necessarily unique to that person. And I think that focus on the idea is really what I would recommend. But who wants to be in thought leadership focus on not you have to tell it through your own story, of course, but it can’t be about you. And there’s a lot of people that want things to be about them, but it’s about the idea, and you’re just relaying the idea in a unique way. So that that would be one thing I would mention about writing.

Peter Winick So that’s a key point. So stay there for a minute because I always joke that I have two types of clients. You know, one group wants to make me wants us to make them incredibly relevant and one wants us to make them irrelevant. And I think your point of that, you’re making, Shannon,is kind of making yourself irrelevant, meaning there are folks out there where the stage presence is kind of shtick and that’s and there’s a place for that. I’m not I’m not judging, you know, it’s entertaining, it’s fun. They do some things, they can juggle, whatever, whatever. But I think ultimately the test, you know, time will tell is can this IP, can these stories stand up to I don’t need to be the only delivery vehicle if I’m not on stage. There’s other ways that this information can be conveyed. And it’s interesting because in your world with The Crucible, there’s nothing more experiential going off into the wilderness for three or four days. But that’s limited, right? You can’t have a million people do that and channel your stories as well. Right. Telling the pressure of being an Apache helicopter. Okay. Well, we can’t all ride along for that.

Shannon Huffman-Polson So, you know, also, it’s rare that that’s too easy to replicate. Like it’s too there’s a million now. There’s a lot of people in in both of our areas with similar backgrounds and experience that are telling stories and that. And that’s great, but it’s got to get beyond that story. The story is a delivery mechanism for the idea. And until you’ve done work to really tease out the idea and allow it to be delivered via story, I don’t I don’t think you’re in thought leadership. You’re not in the space.

Peter Winick Yeah, I love that because it has. Well, I think one of the tests of that challenge is, is, is this teachable, right? Because I will never have the experiences that you had earlier in life or that had earlier in life. But that’s not the point. Right. Right. That’s part of who you are. And that might be from a marketing standpoint, a differentiator. But the reality is that what you’re bringing to me, I could you know, I love your book, right? So there are things that I can take away from great things that I can take away from those Green Beret and use in my world. Totally different context.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Right.

Peter Winick Then. Then your context.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Exactly. That’s the point. That’s what makes it important. Right. And hopefully relevant and impactful. So.

Jan Rutherford Oh I’d say it reminds me of the I think it was Charles Handy or someone said, “The only way you’re going to be different five years from now is the people you meet and the books you read.” And, you know, again, I think you hit on a key point as far as the idea and the concept. I mean, we’re all egocentric and we can appreciate a good story, but at the end of the day, you know what’s in it for me?

Shannon Huffman-Polson Right.

Jan Rutherford And how is this applied to the problems, the challenges, the issues I’m dealing with? How do I how do I use this information to be more effective, to be happier and more fulfilled? And I think that’s always what we’re trying to do. Just like you, Shannon, speaking today as a keynoter. You know, I know you got up there and you thought. How do I engage the audience? It’s all about them. It’s actually not about me.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Exactly. That’s right.

Peter Winick Well, I think that.

Shannon Huffman-Polson It’s hard for some people to make, I think. But it’s a critical one if it’s going to work.

Peter Winick What I want to I want to touch on that. You know, the point that it’s hard for some to make. There are some key voters that are amazing voters. They get on stage and it’s magical. Right. However, it’s them to act like the audience is irrelevant. They’re almost props and they know how to work the room, they know how to do all those things. And it’s literally magical to watch. However, when you think about what does it take to be a great teacher so, you know, to move that into a workshop experience or something else. And if you were, you know, none of our greatest teachers, we’re all about them. So I think for some folks, it’s just a different skill set. Right. So other focus. Right. So you think about sort of servant leadership or servant teacher shape, if that’s a word. You know what an amazing moderator. Amazing teacher. They’re almost egoless. They’re going in and they’re waiting for your eyes to go wide and that light bulb to go off. And no one and I think many people do have both skills, but I think there’s a dominant sort of trait that some of us have.

Jan Rutherford Yeah, but it’s interesting, Peter, you mentioned that I think of the TED talks that I’ve watched. I mean, some of them are really amazing. And then some of them you think. And I’m going to be sort of hypercritical here as you think, this this sounds like, you know, a talk that was created for therapy. I mean, this is your therapy talk. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But as a thought leader, it’s not about you. And I think I think that’s a shift. I mean, I’d like to think that’s happened for me over the last decade is, you know, at the beginning, I mean, a lot of my talks were about, you know, my past, my experiences. And I think part of that came from some insecurities. And I think as you get out there and you learn more and then you realize how you can really help people and you do help people and you then you start kind of being like a bee or you pollinate. Sure, you’re so many things and you’re out helping. I think that’s where the experience gets a lot richer. And I think you become more effective. But again, you got to you know, this is kind of what we preach in in leadership all the time is, you know, self-awareness is three components. It’s knowing how you are, knowing how you affect other people, and then having the ability to self-regulate, to deliver a response. It’s best for the team, not the satisfies, right, or ego.

Peter Winick So I do want to touch on your therapy piece, because on more than one occasion, I have told the client, you know, read your damn book. And I’ve actually sent clients their own books to read because I think at some level, for some, not all the reason the thing that they’re in is something that intrigued them. It might be something they had a challenge with or a struggle or they were fascinated with. Not all. But there’s a reason some people are experts in trust or resilience or agility or grit or whatever. Right. It’s not like your average dentist is probably not going to write a book on grit. Right? It’s probably not going to happen. So I think there are some reasons, but I think to your point. And there might be. It’s sort of a wisdom that comes with the ages, you know, where, you know, if you do speak back to yourself, 25 years ago would probably be a different experience.

Jan Rutherford Yeah. Right.

Peter Winick Yeah.

Jan Rutherford Well, and I mean, my, I mean, the thing I think Shannon and I both have in common is, you know, the adversity we’ve gone through, you know?

Peter Winick Sure.

Jan Rutherford You know, I mean, it can it can just pound you into the ground and humble you and, you know, kill you. And at the same time, it can make you stronger. And, you know, I’m going to speak with someone later today and I want to ask them, you know, hey, you had, you know, a real positive influence in your mother, in your life, and then you had a teacher that was an awful person. I mean, and my question is, do you need both? You need both, I mean, to come out of this adversity. And again, I mean, if we think about teaching and learning and workshops and in and developing people. Part of it is people have to make some mistakes. They have to stumble.

Peter Winick Absolutely.

Jan Rutherford They have to learn. I mean, none of us I mean, it’s like the story of the that this high school win in the state championship. And so they’re over there celebrating and the team came in second is over here and the coach says, I feel sorry for those guys. And they’re like, What? You mean you feel sorry for them? They won. Yeah, but they didn’t learn anything. You came in, you’re going to have to deal with that your whole life. You will have learned something from this experience. And so, you know, again, I mean, I think that’s one of the reasons I think adversity is resonated with a lot of us that came out of the military because, you know, those states were dark and they were hard and we got through it. And it’s like, you know, I think we’re a better person because we did that. And I think we can help people realize, even like during a pandemic, like, hey, this is terrible. But, you know, coming out of it, we can, you know, we can be forged into something stronger and better.

Shannon Huffman-Polson And that’s a choice that we that each person has to make. Right. And I think that is what the whether it’s a book or a keynote or leadership facilitation, whatever it is, it’s helping people understand that they have the agency to make that decision, whether or not they’re going to learn, whether or not you become better, whether or not you take that material and create something new and a new direction. So. But some people won’t do that. So I do think maybe in a way, that part of what we’re doing with that leadership is helping people to understand agency in a different way, new ideas that can help to propel them into different new directions that are meaningful and allow them to contribute. This is my new thing is it’s all about wanting to be able to contribute our best in this world and that and setting the conditions to do that for ourselves, for our team, for the people that we care about, for our organizations. And that’s what yeah. What leadership and people development is all about.

Peter Winick I love it. So as we start to wrap, I’d love to get a minute or two from each of you and speak to there’s someone out there that’s either a Jan or a Shannon or both. Ten, 12, 15 years ago, as you were beginning the journey, what would you what would you wax poetic to those folks just about to embark on this journey of thought leadership. You want to go, Shannon? There you go.

Shannon Huffman-Polson Yeah, why not? So we prepare for our wrestling virtually. I yeah. I would say, first of all, believe in yourself and your experiences. I think making the transition into any new arena is can be challenging and people can have a lot of doubts. And so believe in yourself and those experiences. And then so there’s a piece of ego in that. And then there’s the second part is the humility to say, okay, I’m just one person and I had this one set of experiences and how do I take that and make that meaningful and transformational for others? How can I make that connect for others in a meaningful way? And I think about the stories that I tell now in my keynotes, even still today to to a degree came from one of my very, very, very, very, very first keynotes. And it was, I think the name of the conference was leading from any seat and that became the name of my keynote. And I thought about stories, three stories for three points that would fit into that. And are they the most exotic stories? No, but they’re the stories that tell the points and deliver the information in a way that people can remember them and internalize them. So don’t do too much believe in yourself, but then know it’s all about others. And then think just about a few small things that can carry the ideas to be transformational in other people’s lives.

Peter Winick I love it. Thank you so much. And Jan, no pressure.

Jan Rutherford But you know, that’s it. There is pressure. What I would say is, you know, with the people that have this this desire is you’ve always been successful, you’ve gotten through things. You know what you’re going to be. You’re going to continue to be successful. A lot of those strengths that got you where you are today are going to serve you really well. At the same time, some of those strengths are going to need to be throttled back. They will not serve you so well, so you need to have the self-awareness to figure out what strengths will work. And which ones won’t. And as I mentioned before, I think it’s really listen to the market. I mean, you pay attention to what resonates with people. Somebody said to me, I forget who it was. Maybe it was Tom Rath, but it was. Listen to the questions that people ask you.

Peter Winick Yeah.

Jan Rutherford As you’re getting ready to go, because that’s going to tell you what people already value your expertise in. You know, so really, really listen to the questions that people ask you and that that’s that would be the advice that I would give myself. And as I always say to my wife, I’m like, I wish I had started this ten years earlier. And she always says correctly, you weren’t ready. You had to go through a bunch of stuff that you went through to be where you are today. And, you know, that’s the other thing is, you know, hopefully you have really good people around you that will be truth tellers.

Peter Winick Yes. Well, that was that was fantastic. So I want to thank you both A for your service, your esteemed service, and for sharing some time with us today and talking about your journeys. And if you haven’t read either of their books, get it today. If you haven’t experienced either of their works, check them out. They’re amazing in their own right. And it was a privilege to have both be on here today. I appreciate it so much.

Jan Rutherford Thanks, Peter. Thanks again.

Peter Winick To learn more about Thought Leadership Leverage, please visit our website at Thought Leadership Leverage dot com to reach me directly. Feel free to email me at Peter at and please subscribe to Leveraging Thought Leadership on iTunes or your favorite podcast app to get your weekly episode automatically.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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