So the name of the book came from a joke in days gone by, I assume?
David Loshelder: Yeah, I was working with some people who I would say leaving, “Take care of number one,” and I would always pause then say, “… so you don’t step in number two!” And eventually I would just say, “Make sure you take care of number one,” and they would just finish the sentence. One day I said, “Boy, that would be a really cool book title.” Put the book together and there you go, there’s the title.
David Brower: Good for you. I’m reading your bio here, “Seven ways to manage your self so you can effectively lead others.” Tell me about that.
David Loshelder: Yeah, the whole premise of the book was to be able to manage yourself, invest in yourself so you can give back and lead others. I think there was a leadership … The leadership gap is the fact that people need to invest in themselves first before they can lead others. You have to gain that ability to understand that as you put yourself through the paces, you’re gaining skills. Those skills can be given back later to others, but you got to put the energy first in yourself. It sounds like a selfish endeavor, but actually it’s a benevolent action, if you think about it, because the more you invest in yourself the more you can give back. That was kind of where I was going with this was the fact that we were trying to find a way to communicate that with the people that are going to be taking charge of businesses in our society in the future.
The Millennials are coming into the management system now, and it’s more important now than ever to be able to teach people, have them understand that it’s really important to give everything you’ve got for yourself first and then really take that energy and give it to others. That’s how a leader is built.
David Brower: That makes all the sense in the world because if you can’t invest in yourself, how can you invest in others and it gives you the opportunity to pay it forward, build a stronger, more cohesive team, and get people working together, I would assume.
David Loshelder: Yes, very much so. It’s one of those things that I’ve found that we all have barriers and there’s certain things that stop us. I learned that as an athlete, I was a judo athlete in the sport of judo for years. I traveled internationally and nationally and competed. One of my goals was to win a national championship, make an Olympic team. I never was able to reach that goal, but however, I was successful at some level I just took third place five years in a row. So you say, “Oh, that’s really great,” but I didn’t reach my goal. That’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to get to that national … I wanted to stand on that podium and have a gold medal.
So I always wondered, what was it that stopped me from taking that leap? What’s the difference between third and first? Over the course of the years I started to learn that we all have certain mental barriers. We’re all conditioned some way, there’s what I call the gravity of life. This gravity is always kind of pulling on you, so you have to make sure that you can fight that gravity at all times because you’re either climbing or sliding, there’s really no in-between. We don’t really stand still. We’re moving in two directions all the time and you have to fight that gravity. I found that it just made a lot of sense to look at and go deep inside and do some self-reflection to see what was stopping … Why was I being stopped? Was it somebody else or was it me? It’s always you first. You have to go and say, “What’s in it … What am I doing mentally, physically, spiritually that’s really stopping me?”
And so I started to learn there’s certain conditioning factors that happen in your life. I give an example in the book, about there’s two psychologists, 1967, they did an experiment with a dog they called a shuttle box. They put this dog in a box and they put a divider in-between and they would shock the bottom of the box and that dog would jump over the divider. Then it would shock the other side, and the dog would jump back and forth. Eventually they took the divider out and they would just shock the entire floor. The dog had nowhere to go. So eventually the dog just laid down and just whimpered. They had a psychological term they coined called “learned helplessness.”
If you take that out that psychological term is for all of us, we’re all animals, right? You’re always getting shocked in some way. And it someone’s saying “Don’t do that,” or “That’s ridiculous,” and you try something a manager might say, “Hey, don’t do that, that won’t work,” or whatever, you get beaten down over the years, you wonder why you stop trying. You don’t realize why you stopped trying because it was those little shocks over the years that caused that learned helplessness where people just kind of give up. They lose their motivation. You have to go back and see what was shocking me all that time and recognize that first. Once you recognize that, then you can deal with it. Once you deal with it, then you can do something about it. And that was the idea.
David Brower: Learned helplessness. That speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
David Loshelder: It really does. As a parent, as a supervisor, as a manager, as a boss, as anybody in leadership has to be really careful when they’re leading others because you can find if you’re doing the wrong things, you can inadvertently shock people into becoming very unmotivated, very unhappy in their careers and in their jobs. And you wonder why these people aren’t being lead. Because maybe that’s one of the problems. So that’s why you have to really go deep inside the “what am I doing that makes that difference in others as well as myself?”
David Brower: In reading about you, I know you worked as a child and family therapist, and a manager and director of some programs for the non-profit sector. Did those experiences help you define this journey that you’re on?
David Loshelder: Yeah, I think the combination of my sports career and being in positions doing the therapy and being a manager/director really gave me a lot of experience in terms of what it feels like to be led and what it feels like to lead. That unique perspective which was really a great experience to have really taught me a lot on the how to deal with other people but also how to deal with myself as well.
David Brower: If your experiences in helping people peel back the onion, for lack of a better term, that must give you some kind of a mirror to help you do the same for yourself.
David Loshelder: Yeah it really does because you start to say … I always thought to myself, what would I do if I wasn’t afraid to fail? That type of philosophy, we’ve heard that before. And then I’ve always wondered when you put yourself in somebody’s shoes what does that really feel like? Because it’s so easy to say “Oh just suck it up and just do it,” when in fact, you don’t really understand what this other person is going through. I think that being empathic, the ability to have different perspectives on what’s happening to someone really gives you insight onto your shortcomings and your ability to be able to say, “You know what? That would be difficult. What would I do in that situation? How would I respond to that?” Once you start to do that, I think it really does … it’s trite but true, but it does make you a better person, if you really take that empathic look at other people and compare and relate, then you can really help somebody. If you can do that, then you’re able to gain that trust. If you gain that trust, if it’s a therapist, or a leader, or a supervisor, or whatever, then you’re able to be very effective and that’s where when you’re managing yourself you can effectively lead others as the subtitle of the book says.
David Brower: And when you earn that trust, and they mirror that trust back to you, that in turn helps build your confidence and you guys and gals just keep feeding each other in a real growing way, I would think.
David Loshelder: Yeah, you know that’s a good point because everyone’s heard the term, “one bad apple ruined a whole bushel,” and it’s really true. When you start building trust in a team, that trust becomes contagious and you see really good football teams, they have really super-talented players, but they don’t have that synergy or that cohesiveness that they would need to actually win as a team. Individually, you have a whole bunch of great players, but they’re not winning. But then you have this team that’s average athletes, perhaps, that are great with working in a team, and they’re the champions of the Super Bowl. It’s not that one person, it’s everyone working together in concert and trusting each other’s abilities to be able to reach a goal that, say, a business would have, or a family would have, or whatever team you’re on, that’s really an important part.
David Brower: Absolutely right, absolutely right. And it’s … Man, I just love the fascination of that and especially in as crazy as this world is now where it’s all the microwave, “let’s get something real quick real quick real quick” if you don’t have the ability to hire and coach and train a great team with great processes, it makes competition really tough.
David Loshelder: I think that’s probably the main problem now is the fact that everybody wants something so quickly, and it is only a text message away. A Google click away. If you don’t get it in .001 seconds, then you’re going to move on to something else. I think when you’re building something you really have to let it mature. You don’t just plant it … You plant a seed and say, “Come on, let’s go! Let’s grow! Hurry up!” You let it grow, and you’ve got to water it. With that there’s no difference in building a good team, or your professional development, or your personal development, it does take time and you have to give it time.
If you get hurt … I hurt my back, and I was hoping I would get better in one day, well the physical therapist says, “It’ll take about ten days.” Guess what? It took about ten days, because your body takes time to heal just like anything else. I think, yeah, I think when you’re building to have those clear goals, and to have that vision of … You have to have clear vision because if no one can see it, then you’re not going to mobilize people. You have to be able to articulate that. That’s where the trust comes from, too, because they know where they’re going with you and they will follow you. They will do it with you. With that, becomes … you can’t build a team unless you … You need a vision to build a team, that’s the idea where you’re going to find yourself constantly communicating, working synergistically with everybody making sure and keeping track of how people feel. Checking in, if you lose track of what people are feeling, you’re really not connected to them and if you’re not connected, then you’re not going to know what they’re doing.
David Brower: Absolutely right, and with all those processes that you’re just talking about, that helps create that patience that you need to allow that company to grow and flourish. Because it takes a lot of time sometimes in this competitive environment that we’re in right?
David Loshelder: Yeah, I agree. You mentioned training which I thought was a really good point. I think we need to put more time into training people, and going back to the microwave example, where you want it done in one minute, when you bring people on, people want to be led and trained and they want to learn. You need to have a system in place to be able to have that happen. If you have a really good training system, and people who are excited about learning what they’re learning, they’re comfortable in that process and they’re challenged, then they’re going to be sticking around a little longer.
My dad worked for the same company for 46 years. You don’t hear that anymore. Get a job, and then just retire from it at age 65. People have seven jobs in their career, they change careers throughout that life span. It’s that type of thing where it’s really important to be able to say, okay, it’s the training that helps people learn and even if they do leave, at least you have given them something to leave with. Instead of “well I just had this job, and they didn’t do anything for me,” Your reputation is built on the … prefaced on coming in the door but also going out the door. I think it’s really important to be able to say, “We’re here to build people. We’re here to help people build themselves and build professional personal development,” so if they do stay or they don’t, or when they’re … when that turnover is, at least we felt comfortable in the fact that we have left them with something they can go and help society with later in a different job.
I always believe that as the manager, when you are working for me, I want you to be able to continue to learn and if you go somewhere, you’re going to say, “Boy, I learned a lot from that guy! I learned a lot from that company.” I think that’s a very special thing when you are leading a group of people.
David Brower: No question about it, the two things I like about what you’re saying, one is: when you’re in that environment, you embrace being held accountable. Right? The second thing is: when someone works for you for a while, and you’ve trained them and you’ve built them up and it’s time for them to move on for whatever reason, they’re for the most part, they’re still going to be a face of your company because of the experience that you’ve given them.
David Loshelder: Yeah, exactly. You don’t want somebody to go to HR and say, “I had a horrible time working here,” on their way walking out the door, nobody wants that, but what you do want is you want someone to tell ten of their friends and 200 of their Facebook friends, “This was the best place I ever worked, but I found a better opportunity because of X,Y,Z. Maybe I grew out of the job, maybe I’ve gained so much skill working there, now I’m qualified for five other jobs.” That’s pretty awesome if you think about that.
David Brower: Exactly right, exactly right. Going back to your gravity analogy, early on in our conversation, it sure is much easier to fall with gravity than it is to swim upstream against it, isn’t it?
David Loshelder: Yeah, it really is. There’s all kinds of forces that we have pushing on us. The one mentioned was with ourselves, the other people around you, choose your friends carefully. And the other one is the environment, the environments that you live in and how you live. Structuring all that, making sure you’re building a good social network that supports you and your goals is I think paramount to reaching those aspects of your life that you want to be in.
David Brower: No question about it. So you’ve got another book, was it your first book? The “Protect Yourself: Top Ten Life-Saving Self-Defense Techniques?”
David Loshelder: Yeah, that’s my first book. Since I was a martial artist moat of my life I decided to write a self-defense book. I was doing a lot of the self-defense trainings and seminars and some people came up to me and said, “This is really good stuff, would you write a book about it?” I had never thought about it, so I put it together and I had a really good time. I like that book because it’s based off a curriculum that I built, and it’s used in different places around the country, that curriculum, and they use that book so it’s pretty cool that I had that happen.
David Brower: That is cool, and then it got you in the book writing frame of mind that probably made the second book a little more enjoyable, I would imagine, for whole different list of reasons, I know.
David Loshelder: I had a ball writing this book, I always thought that this was very important part of my life and I did lectures on it for a long time. I built the program and talked about it. The simile … I started to write some other stuff and it just turned into a book and I thought it would be nice to have something tangible to show people so if they don’t hear the lecture they can read the book and can learn from it.
David Brower: Absolutely, so your latest book, “Take Care of Number One So You Don’t Step in Number Two,” again, nobody is going to forget that title, I don’t care who you are, “Seven ways to manage yourself so you can effectively lead others,” and they can get ahold of you at takecareofno1.com, that’s “take care of N-O the number one dot com” and I assume all your contact information is on there?
David Loshelder: Absolutely, yes it is.
David Brower: Okay. And people can order your books through your website? Through Amazon? How can they do that?
David Loshelder: Yes, through my website and through Amazon.
David Brower: And David’s last name is spelled L-O-S-H-E-L-D-E-R. David Loshelder, it’s been a pleasure, man, thank you so much and continued success to you!
David Loshelder: Hey, thank you very much I appreciate you having me on!
David Brower: You bet! You’ve been listening to “Your 20 Minute Podcast” with David Brower and our special guest, David Loshelder, and again his website takecareofno1.com. We hope you’ll join us again next time and be sure to follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/yourtwentyminutepodcast.