"Helping people reach their potential."
Bold words from a former consultant of a fifty-five million dollar corporation.
Leadership consultant turned author, Keith Johnston addressed the gap in the motivational- self- help industry by tackling the tough issues of teaching others HOW to lead.
In his latest book, A Garage Full of Ferraris, he interviews others who have succeeded as leaders by taking their teams to new heights. He shows the ins and outs of the journey. We get to glimpse the inside of successes and failures, and most importantly, he shows you how to find and develop those leadership skills within yourself.
Mr. Johnston is inspired by those who defeat the odds. Those who are willing to go up against "impossible" and make things happen. He uses his inspiration from the sports world with coaches such as Lou Holtz and Tony Dungy who take their teams to higher heights by setting goals and teaching each member of the team to believe in themselves.
Characteristics like integrity and honesty are high priorities for Keith Johnston and he refers to those when he speaks of the people he admires most. People that achieve their goals despite the odds. People that have made an impact on him personally and from a distance. It is these people, everyone from CEO's to high placed executives to his former high school coach, that Mr. Johnson uses to teach leadership skills and values in the new book. Real life people. Real life experiences. Real life training.
When I asked about his real-life football coach, probably one of the first major influences of his young-adult life, he said, "Any football player, who has had a good football experience, remembers and respects their high school football coach. Mine was special. He took the time to instill pride in all of us and he was unwilling to compromise on his values to win a few more games. In the second year of the five years I played for him he took me aside and told me that I was making a significant contribution to the team. His words were extremely motivating and taught me that you could motivate someone by praising them not just by yelling at them.
"I have maintained my relationship with him over the years and have visited with him on many occasions. He is now in his 80’s and in poor health. I was with him in July on a visit to Texas to give him a copy of my book as he is featured in the book.
He left coaching after my senior year in high school and took a job in sales. Using the same philosophy he used as a football coach catapulted him into a senior executive position with a large US company.
One of the things he told me that had always puzzled him, was that he could not understand why more coaches did not take the time to get to know their players on a personal level. The fact that he did take the time is probably one of the characteristics that endeared us to him.
What's next for this leadership consultant- turned-author? "I am currently working on a leadership program which I hope to deliver to promising young business leaders in the community where I live," he says. So you just might find him diligently working in the local coffee shop where he can turn off the phone and other distractions and concentrate on helping other achieve their goals.
When asked what is coming for the future, he replied, "If I wrote a book a year, I'd be busy for the next twenty years."
It sounds like we will be seeing a lot more of Keith Johnston!
If you find yourself in a leadership position and need that edge, or if you know there are leadership qualities deep inside of you whispering to be encouraged or if you just need some inspiration look to the genius of Keith Johnston.
Disclaimer: Some of the views and opinions expressed in the Book Club are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of founder Elizabeth Bourgeret or her agency
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