When I pick up one of Jon Gordon’s books, I have high expectations. I expect to be entertained, moved, and motivated to think differently and take action. That’s not an easy accomplishment for any book.
“Your optimism today will determine your level of success tomorrow.” –Jon Gordon
His latest book, The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All, exceeded my already high expectations. Jon once again narrates a story in such a way that it:
- Reminds me of timeless principles
- Zeroes in on something I need to work on
- Inspires me to become a better leader
I recently had the opportunity to ask Jon a few questions about his work.
“Negative thoughts are the nails that build a prison of failure.” –Jon Gordon
The 3 Greatest Success Strategies
Jon,The Carpenter’s subtitle is A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All. Let’s talk about a few of these strategies.
I go into more detail in the book of why they are so powerful, but after studying the most successful people and organizations, I found they truly loved the work they did, and they did everything with love instead of fear. The love they had for their product, people and passion was greater than their fear of failing. They loved their work so much that they overcome their challenges to build something great. They loved their people, so they invested in them and helped them achieve great results. They also cared about everyone and everything. They put in a little more time with a little more energy with a little more effort with a little more focus, and this produced big results. They also served and sacrificed.
Only through service and sacrifice can you become great. When you serve others, you become great in their eyes. We know when someone is out for themselves and when they are here to serve others. You can’t be a great leader if all you are serving is yourself.
“Only through service and sacrifice can you become great.” –Jon Gordon
The Importance of Rest
You talk about the importance of rest. Most of us are so busy achieving, setting goals, and driving that we have learned to smile and nod in response to hearing “get some more rest.” My subconscious often responds with, “I will rest when I’m dead.” Why is rest so important? What made you decide to start with it as a success strategy?
I’ve noticed that the enemies of great leadership, teamwork, relationships and customer service are busyness and stress. Our lives have become so crazy that we are continually activating the reptilian part of our brain and the fight-flight response. So without knowing it, we are living and working from a place of fear where we are just trying to survive instead of thrive.
When we rest and recharge, we can think more clearly and live and work more powerfully. For example, instead of running people over because you are so busy, you can take time to build relationships with your team and customers and create more success in the long term. Instead of just trying to get through the day, you can live and work more intentionally thinking about who needs your time and energy to develop and grow. Instead of rushing through conversations with customers, you can take more time to listen and solve their problems. Every great athlete must rest and recharge and so must we to perform at our highest level.
“Anyone who attempts to build great things will face challenges.” –Jon Gordon