5 questions with Modern Leadership host Jake Carlson

This week I was excited to chat with podcast host Jake Carlson of Modern Leadership. Many of our clients had appeared on his show, and they have all enjoyed their conversations with Jake.

Modern Leadership is premiere podcast for today’s leaders. Jake believes each of us has a leadership superpower that makes us great. The five basic categories are accountability, confidence, problem solving, adaptability and enthusiasm. They give us an advantage at work and in our careers.

Each week, Jake aims to amplify those superpowers through stories of success and struggle including interviews with industry experts; those who have walked the walk and now assist on our journey.

You know we love a good quiz here at Zilker Media. You can discover your leadership superpower with Jake’s assessment, here.

How did the idea for Modern Leadership originate?

I love radio as a medium. Growing up I had two passions, listening to Zig Ziglar cassette tapes and listening to the radio disc jockey. My dream was to work at the local radio station. In college I had the privilege of working the midnight to 6 am shift at the local easy listening station and loved the experience. I’m a talker and a storyteller and radio seemed a great option for those passions.

Fast forward to 2014. I started out as a podcast consumer. I still remember my first podcast listen, where I was and who I heard (Washington DC listening to Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas). I was immediately hooked. The lightbulb immediately flashed, and I knew I needed my own show. So, in November 2014 I started the Family Before Fortune podcast. The show was a mix of monologue and interview around the topic of building the life of your dreams WITH the people you love. With the premise that you don’t have to sacrifice your family relationships to create a successful business.

In February 2017, after 119 episodes we made the decision to rebrand the Family Before Fortune Podcast to Modern Leadership because we felt that the previous title conveyed the wrong initial first impression. At Modern Leadership, we ARE about building successful business. We want our listeners to dominate their market, we enjoy the fruits of successful business and truly lean in when we are at work. But leadership has changed. Balance, efficiency, strategic planning and strategic recreation are all important and we felt the rebranding would better convey the message we were trying to convey.

At its core Modern Leadership is still a passion project of mine giving me a platform to meet great people, inspire other leaders and enjoy the storytelling nature of online radio.

Who has been your favorite guest so far to interview?

How is this a fair question? It is like asking which child is favorite or which Starburst flavor is best. They all are. I do have a few special moments on the podcast that have been powerful for me.

Episode 4: Matt Moniz.

Matt is a true hero. He has climbed all 50 of the highest peaks in the US, holds speed records for climbing and was still only a college Freshman at the time of the interview. As a climber, his goal has always been to summit Mount Everest. Twice he made the journey to Nepal and up to basecamp and twice tragedy struck. The first time, the deadliest avalanche in Everest history which killed a group of very seasoned Sherpas closed the mountain for the season out of respect for the lost. Matt was in basecamp during the avalanche. His second attempt found him in basecamp during the tragic earthquake that destroyed much of Nepal. His story of saving the injured, raising money to rebuild and being recognized by the UN as a model for philanthropic efforts made it a special interview.

Episode 38: Randy Komisar.

Randy is the author of The Monk and The Riddle and a well-known venture capitalist out of Silicon Valley. He is a senior executive at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and a founding director of TiVo. He came on the show and talked about his travels through Myanmar (we related as Myanmar is a favorite of mine) and how to take an idea to a growth opportunity.

Episode 64: Jackie & Kevin Freiberg.

I am a huge baseball fan and the Giants are one of my teams. I received a copy of their amazing book Bochy Ball! The Chemistry of Winning and Losing in Baseball, Business and Life and the thing is stunning. Beautiful from cover to cover. But the contents of the book, the business lessons and the writing are powerful. Jackie and Kevin came on the show together and we had a blast going back and forth deep diving into the topics of this book. It still sits on my nightstand.

What kind of guests are you looking for?

I think of my interview sessions as coffee shop visits with the guest. It would be very difficult for me to get Todd Henry, Anders Ericsson, Whitney Johnson, Bethany Andell, the Freibergs and Rusty Shelton to join me at Starbucks, but to spend 30 minutes picking their brains on business and life by way of Skype provides amazing access.

I look for guests who have written books in the field of leadership, influence, productivity, time management and success. I love stories and the chance to dive into their thinking, ask questions that interest me and get answers to success related inquiries. In short, I look for Modern Leaders who can share their message in an engaging story-based format.

What is your biggest publicist pet peeve?

My biggest publicist pet peeve? Simple, don’t send me a recommendation that is not a good fit for my show. Listen to an episode, get a feel for the vibe, the flow, the questions, the topics. Don’t waste both our times with guests who can’t speak to my audience. The other pet peeve is not preparing the guest and encouraging the guest to listen to an episode prior to the interview. Just because they know their stuff doesn’t mean they know how my audience wants to hear it.

What is your best piece of advice for leaders?

Leadership is influence. And influence necessarily has 3 components. At Modern Leadership we talk often about the CIA of Influence- Conviction, Irresistibility and Accountability. Conviction is the internal drive and passion necessary to find success. Irresistibility is the external way you gather your followers, conveying the direction you will go. Accountability is the grit needed to overcome the inevitable obstacles and challenges any leader faces in their quest for success. My best advice for aspiring leaders is to understand the CIA of Influence. Do what it takes to internalize your message with enough passion that you can irresistibly inspire your followers and then when the going gets challenging, which it will, use your accountability to persevere the success. A breakout happens right after a breakthrough.

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