Hi, I’m Jonathan!
I write and speak about the confluence of resilience and leadership. I am also the author of Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future (available now).
My goal is to help you transform into a clear, creative, and confident leader that gets results in the future workplace.
Great leaders create happier and more productive teams.
Great leaders create opportunities for others to grow.
Great leaders improve their organization’s ability to execute on its mission.
In sum, when we become great leaders everybody benefits.
The problem is, many leaders haven’t developed and articulated their core philosophy well enough to drive coherent action. Then when pandemics strike, when generations clash, when technology changes everything (again), we are unprepared to respond.
I can help you develop a leadership philosophy and the corresponding strategies and tactics that will create resilience and results despite the challenges.
If you are an event planner, or are just trying to put together a one-off program for your organization, I can help. See my speaking page here.
I look forward to connecting with you!
I have written a book that helps leaders better steer their organizations in this time of rapid generational and technological change. Learn more about the new book.
Speaking on the Future of Leadership
I am available for keynote or breakout session programs for your event. My talks are focused on resilience and leadership. Specifically, I detail the strategies and tactics leaders can start using the very next day to improve their team’s performance, morale, and connection in this time of radical uncertainty. Learn more about having me speak at your event.
I offer one-day, laser-focused workshops for leaders who are looking to take their teams to the next level. (Note – All 2020 workshops have been cancelled due to COVID-19.) Learn more about my leadership workshops.
I would never ask any organization to do something that my company hasn’t already done. So, my company’s belief, vision, mission, values, human advantage statement, and strategies for 2020 can be found here.
Catalyst (20-30 years old)
For a number of years as a late teenager I worked at least two jobs. Sometimes it was a full time job matched with a part time job. Sometimes it was full time job matched with another full time job. The problem with this arrangement is not the tiredness after a single day, but the accumulated weariness of the grind over time.
One afternoon, I started to fall asleep in my chair at job number two. By that time I had already been working since well before sunrise. What I didn’t know was that my branch manager was watching me fall asleep.
Later, he called me out on it. But, instead of using it as an opportunity to criticize me, he used it as an opportunity to encourage me. To my branch manager’s great credit, he was more interested in my long-term success, than my short-term mistakes.
My first experience with real leadership came out of our discussions. I remember him saying, “The answer isn’t to work harder, it’s to work smarter.”
He would say, “Invest in yourself. It’s the only path to freedom.”
For months I didn’t get it, but my branch manager kept after me. Eventually, he wore me down enough and I reluctantly signed up for classes at our local community college. The thought of going back to school made me uncomfortable and anxious. It wasn’t until after the first few quarters—after several months of investing in myself—that the lights started to come on.
His leadership acted as a catalyst in my life. I spent most of my 20s in undergraduate (Central Washington University) and graduate degree (Seattle University) programs learning about aviation, business, leadership, economics, and public administration.
While I had a few great experiences with exceptional leaders and mentors in my 20s, I had many more experiences with leaders who fell short. In financial terms, these leaders “shorted” leadership rather than choosing to invest in the long-term.
What I learned in my 20s is that leadership can be used as a tool of harm, or it can be used to ignite growth in the very people who make up the organization.
Experience (30-40 years old)
Throughout my 30s I had the distinct privilege of leading my own teams. Teams of architects, engineers, and project managers that come together for large construction projects, and teams of operations and maintenance staff.
Even after daily investment in myself through undergraduate studies and graduate studies throughout my 20s, I was still only on the starting line. I made so many mistakes.
Year after year, I kept investing in myself. I read the books, attended the conferences, worked with mentors, experimented with new ideas, and constantly evaluated what worked and what didn’t.
In my late 30s I attended a professional coaching program at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida (International Coach Federation affiliated) and learned how to better coach professionals.
I was determined to be the type of leader who would create organizational success by helping my team members grow as professionals and as people. So far, this has been the right approach.
I also noticed in my 30s that not all leaders shared my leadership ethic. In fact, a number of leaders, many of whom I directly engaged with, were terrible!
They were practicing “cover-your-ass-first” leadership. Their failures showed up in their teams. As I learned so much from the great leaders in my life, I also learned so much from the bad ones.
And that learning continues today in my work leading project teams, and external contractors and consultants.
What I learned in my 30s is that leadership requires a daily investment. I also learned that bad leadership is more prevalent than it should be.
Philosophy (40-42 years old)
After years of being in the leadership trenches, I finally learned a simple truth:
Leadership matters more than we think it does.
It’s a theme in my keynote talks.
It is also a core theme in my book: Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future.
The ability to move people to action on a mission—leadership—is something many of us seem to be too busy to engage in. But the art and craft of moving people is what leadership is all about.
How one chooses to engage, just like how my branch manager chose to engage me, makes an enormous difference.
Moving other people isn’t reserved for those with a certain job title. Rather, it’s a function of something more meaningful.
It comes from the all the qualities of a leader, but it also comes from their philosophy.
The philosophy is the framework for how we show up for our teams day after day. Without it, we won’t be as great as we could be.
What I have learned in my 40s thus far is that each leader needs to develop their own unique leadership philosophy.
I stand on the shoulders of the great leaders who influenced and mentored me over the years. I would not be here without them.
After experiencing the great and the not-so-great, I am on a mission to eradicate bad leadership.
It’s a solvable problem.
I believe many leaders just need to have the lights turned on.
We have made so much progress. Imagine how much better it could be if great leadership influenced every organization.
That is my vision: Only great leadership in every organization.
And my mission focuses on the people who have the privilege and the opportunity to be in these roles.
I am here for you.
You don’t have to do it alone.