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“You only have one life to live and it’s YOUR life.”  – Adam Mendler

 

Life will give you surprises, and a lot of them. But what they will be for you, depends on how you live your life.  In this week’s episode, Art sits with the CEO of The Veloz Group, Adam Mendler. Adam, a great leader as he is, knows a thing or two about bad decisions. He shares valuable life lessons on how to deal with the consequences and be wiser the next time you’re about to walk on crossroads. Adam also shares the importance of lining up your priorities, aligning with your passion, and being a great and inspiring leader. Being a leader is a huge responsibility that not everyone is willing to take. The price is not in the fame or riches, but in the changes you make for others. Will you rise up or will you run away? Before you make a choice, press the play button and join in today’s conversation.

Listen to the podcast here:

Highlights:

01:38 Taking The Entrepreneurial Leap
09:09 Focus On What Is More Important
14:27 What It Means To Have Passion
20:57 Decision-Making: We All Make Bad Choices
27:05 Qualities Of A Great Leader
29:24 Great Leaders Give Inspiration

Awaken the great leader in you! Be a part of today’s motivating conversation as @myexpectation and @adammendler discuss the core principles and qualities that make up legends! #expectationtherapy #epiphanies #podcast #passion #priority… Click To Tweet

Quotes:

“You never know where life is going to take you.” – Adam Mendler

“It’s a lot easier when you spend your time directed and channeled toward endeavors that align with your interests and that align with what really gets you going.” – Adam Mendler

“You only have one life to live and it’s YOUR life.”  – Adam Mendler

“Live to your core expectations, not to the expectations of other people.” – Art Costello 

“If I’m not for myself, who will be? If I’m only for myself, who am I?”  – Adam Mendler

“Leaders who are comfortable in their own skin are capable of succeeding in leadership.”   – Adam Mendler

“The core principles of leadership are applicable no matter where you lead… You need to understand what it takes to be a great leader, and you need to apply it.” – Adam Mendler

 

Meet Adam:

Adam Mendler is the CEO of The Veloz Group, where he co-founded and oversees ventures across a wide variety of industries: Beverly Hills Chairs, a leading office furniture e-tailer; Custom Tobacco, a one-of-a-kind cigar customization e-commerce platform; and Veloz Solutions, a technology consulting and software development practice. Adam also provides business thought leadership as a speaker to businesses, universities, and non-profit organizations as the host of the leadership and personal/professional development podcast Thirty Minute Mentors; as an expert regularly cited in national media outlets; and as an advisor, consultant, coach and board member. Adam utilizes his professional, entrepreneurial and managerial background developed through a unique set of experiences.

 

Transcription:

Art Costello: Welcome to the Shower Epiphanies Podcast, today. Adam Mendler is our guest. Adam, I don’t even have to begin to explain him. He has really done a great deal of things in his life from being Chief Executive Officer of The Veloz Group. He’s the host of the podcast, Thirty Minute Mentors. He graduated from USC. He’s done many, many things. I’m going to let Adam tell his story. So Adam, welcome to the show, and can you tell us your story?

Adam Mendler: Well, thank you so much for having me and I really appreciate that. Thanks for the shout out to USC, it’s been a rough couple of years for us as a university and I’m wearing my USC t-shirt today. I know that this podcast is an audio only podcast, so you don’t get to see my USC Dornsife T-shirt. I had a great four years there and I’m still pretty involved as an, I’m actually the Chairman Emeritus of the USC Alumni Entrepreneurs Network. So fight on, any Trojan listeners out there.

Art Costello: Awesome.

Adam Mendler: I know. We were chatting a little bit about your background, and Art, I’m obviously always happy to have the opportunity to converse with a fellow baseball fan and fellow. So we’ll call you an honorary Southern California, so pleasure to be here.

Art Costello: Thank you, Adam, it’s an honor to have you. How did your journey start?

Adam Mendler: So I’m an LA native, was born and raised in Tarzana, California, which for listeners who are not aware is a suburb of Los Angeles. It was really a great childhood growing up in Tarzana, really had amazing formative years. And as mentioned, I did my undergrad at USC. Upon graduating, moved to New York, worked on Wall Street for a couple of years. Was a little bit different than the Charlie Sheen movie, but I spent a couple of years working for a company called D.E. Shaw. At the time, they were the largest hedge fund in the world. And it was definitely an interesting experience. Did my time, came back to LA and got my MBA across town at UCLA, which was also a great experience for me. While I was getting my MBA, I worked for William Morris Endeavor talent agency and for Universal Pictures, that big studio. And went back into the financial services industry, working for Credit Suisse, big Swiss Bank and had all these big, big company experiences. I was 28 years old and felt like the right time in my life to try to do something a little bit different. The right time in my life to kick that entrepreneurial leap. If I was ever going to start my own business, there was never going to be a better time for me to do it. My energy was never going to be higher, my expenses were never going to be lower, this was the right time. So I did it. I joined forces with my brother who’s two years younger than me. He was working as a software developer and we took every idea that we had, and we started a business, we called it The Veloz Group. We named it after the street we grew up on in Tarzana Veloz Avenue. And our first year and a half running The Veloz Group was such a fun experience. We had an amazing time creatively, literally pushing on every idea under the sun, but it was a terrible time in terms of actually making money and building businesses because we had no idea what we were doing. We burned through all of our savings after a year and a half and had this moment where we realized that if we were going to stay in business, we had to really focus and pick our ideas that were closest to monetization, which we did.

We picked our two businesses that were just closest to getting off the ground. One, being an office furniture company. The other, being a cigar company. Those were the two businesses that we wanted to build and that we still run to this day. They’re national businesses. One’s called Beverly Hills Chairs, the other is called Custom Tobacco. We’ve since started a third business, a software consulting company. And over the years, in addition to my entrepreneurial ventures, have done a lot of writing and speaking on entrepreneurship, on leadership, I’ve written a lot in Forbes, Inc and HuffPost. I started an interview series where I’ve interviewed hundreds of America’s top leaders and that led me to my podcast, Art, which you so generously mentioned called Thirty Minute Mentors. I go over one on one each week with one of America’s most successful people, CEOs and founders of some of the most successful companies in America. Household name companies, celebrities, athletes, generals, admirals on how they got to the top and on how listeners can as well, in 30 minute increments. So I keep busy. I wear a lot of hats. I am probably going to be wearing an angel hat soon, now that I can’t get a haircut during the coronavirus. And if I’m going to be wearing a hat, it’s going to be an angel hat because as we spoke about off air, and this baseball greatly, but still stayed connected to my Los Angeles Angels.

Art Costello: Baseball is something that connects people in many, many ways, so that’s a good thing. I’m glad that we’re connected through baseball, but I’m glad we’re connected to the podcast. What really intrigues me with people that have so vast of experience in entrepreneurship and leadership is, what was the event that got you to move into recognizing that you needed to focus on two businesses instead of all the things you weren’t. Was there a major event in your life that caused that to happen?

Adam Mendler: The major event was called, burning through all of our money. We didn’t really have much of a choice.

Art Costello: It’s something, we’ll do it. That’s it.

Adam Mendler: I wish that there was some sort of wisdom, or the dream, or some epiphany but no, it was really just basic math. I didn’t want to get a job, my brother didn’t want to get a job. We knew that if we were going to continue to go down the path we were on, we weren’t going to be in business for much longer, because as fun as it was for us to spend our time pushing on all of these new, exciting and interesting ideas at the end of the day. Business is about making money, businesses about profitability, especially when you’re running self-funded bootstrapped businesses. If you’re in businesses that are VC-backed, you’re following different metrics, or kind of taking a step back, something that is a really important topic that I talk about. I know you talk and think a lot about it, what is your definition of success? What is your definition of success in business? What is your definition of success in life? Well, in this case, as a bootstrap startup company, our definition of success at that very moment was staying in business, keeping the lights on, was ensuring that we could continue on this entrepreneurial journey. And when we came to the realization that in order to do that, we had to really focus and drill down on our ideas that were closest to monetization, we just did that.

Art Costello: I think when our backs are against the wall and we really, really start to focus, I think the key is focusing on what is really necessary to do to get to the point where we can pay the bills for that week, that month. I mean, I started a business in 1975, and I’ll tell you the story in a little bit because an engineer at USC made all the difference in my life. I think when we get to that point, what happened for me when I went from working for somebody else to my own business, my wife, or the lady that I wanted to marry, the woman I wanted to marry told me: “If you’re going to be in the entertainment business, I’m not going to marry you.” And I had to stop and say: “What is more important to me? The successes I was having in the entertainment business, or was my marriage to my proposal, or proposition to get married to this woman more important?” And I chose the woman. The people in Hollywood that I knew said to me: “You’re crazy, man.” I know. Walking away from what you’re walking away from, for a woman? She could leave the next week, she could leave you next month. I just said: “If she changed, I’m willing to take it.” When I did that, I had to figure out what I was going to do because I haven’t a clue, not a clue. And what I did is, I went to work for a friend of mine whose dad owned a roofing company. I started roofing and commercial buildings around Los Angeles. It’s tough work, and I hated it. Coming from a cushy job in the entertainment industry to working up on roofs, commercial roofs is not fun.

And we were sweeping gravel one day and I said to one of the guys: “There’s gotta be a better way to remove gravel off of a roof than sweeping it with a broom.” And they told me: “We know a guy in Denver, he’s got a machine.” And I said: “Really?” So I started researching and I found this guy in Denver that built machines that vacuum the rock off of the roof, and I went and bought one. That’s how I got into my business, a roof vacuuming business and started my construction career. I ended up doing it for 38 years and it really paid me well, it raised my children great life, I had houses, cars, boats and vacation places and all that. But when I was doing it, I realized that I needed to have some experience in vacuum technology. And I was at USC doing one of the engineering buildings and an elderly guy came out and said to me: “What in the world are you doing?” I said: “We’re vacuuming rock off of the roof.” And he said: “Really?” And I said: “Yeah.” And he said: “That’s ingenious. Do you know what my specialty is? It’s in vacuum technology. If you want, I will meet with you one day and I will tell you how to make this machine bigger, better, and everything.” If it wasn’t for him, I would have never had the knowledge to make that machine bigger and better, which set the standard for the industry. And to this day, it’s a huge machine that’s being built around the country.

Adam Mendler: That’s awesome. It really just goes to show the importance of open-mindedness and flexibility. I think that anyone and everyone who’s listening to this podcast hopefully can understand, you never know where life is going to take you, but if you can take advantage of each and every relationship that you cultivate, and Art, I think that you are a beautiful example of what happens when you approach relationships with an open mind, you approach people with an open mind. You never know where a relationship will take you. And in your case, it took you on a journey that set the course of an extremely successful career. And thank you for sharing that story with me.

“You never know where life is going to take you.” - Adam Mendler Click To Tweet

Art Costello: Yeah. It actually brought me to where I’m at today because I did it for 38 years. And when my wife got ovarian cancer and passed away, I was able to sell that business and pay off $2.9 million in medical bills.

Adam Mendler: Wow.

Art Costello: And I had to start all over again and it led me to the journey I’m on today. I mean, my degrees are all in psychology and everything, and I’ve always kept myself educated with different psychological concepts. But getting back to my old–

Adam Mendler: I feel like I should switch from my current Herman Miller Chair, which is one of the chairs we sell through Beverly Hills Chairs to a couch. Now that I know that you have a psychology background, I could just lay out, especially if I don’t have to pay for an hour of your time. Maybe I should start asking you questions, or we can roll reverse over here.

Art Costello: Because when you share questions, you get answers. But one of the things I was leaning to is, one of the things about me is that I believe in the possibility of everything and then everything becomes possible.

Adam Mendler: It’s a great line. I love it.

Art Costello: It’s just the way I am. So let’s get back to you, this wasn’t meant to go on about me. But you know, you’ve done many, many, many things. Can you kind of go over some of the things that you’re involved in? I mean, it’s really extensive. You’ve graduated Phi Beta Kappa from USC and you got an MBA from Anderson School of Management, which my late wife’s brother-in-law was the Dean at Howard Smith. And he played basketball at USC in the late 60’s so he knew John Woodman in that group. But you’ve done many, many things and you’ve got to have a great deal of stamina and passion for what you do, where did that come from? Was that something your parents taught you? Or is it self-taught?

Adam Mendler: Art, that’s a phenomenal question. I think that there are two ways of looking at it. Number one, I believe that in life, there are passionate people. You meet people, I meet people, we all meet people who are highly passionate people. They’re passionate about whatever it is that they get involved in, whether it’s their work, whether it’s their hobbies, whether it’s the people who they surround themselves with. I personally think of myself as a passionate person. We were talking about baseball, I’m passionate about baseball, I’m passionate about the Angels. We could do this podcast just on baseball, just on the Angels, just on the Angels managers, we can do an entire podcast just talking by David Fletcher. So I’m highly passionate, I’m a highly passionate person. With that said, I also think that it’s a lot easier when you spend your time directed and channeled toward endeavors that align with your interests and that align with what really gets you going. I know that it’s a topic of great debate. Should I follow a career that aligns with my passion? Or should I follow a career and be compassionate at it. I fall in the camp of following your passion, pursuing your passion, chasing your dreams. As I mentioned to your listeners in the beginning of the show, I’m based in Los Angeles, Los Angeles is a city of dreamers. You turn to your left, you have an aspiring actor or an aspiring actress. Your turn to your right, you have an aspiring artist, you have an aspiring musician. You look up, you’ve got an aspiring screenwriter. So everyone here is aspiring to do something, to do something big. And with those aspirations come, a lot of people who tell you, no. We tell you, don’t do that, don’t follow that path. Perhaps that path has a little bit too much resistance, why don’t you do something a little bit different? Why don’t you take that nine to five job? Why don’t you kick that corporate or traditional path? And you know what? That might be the right path for many people. But if that’s not the right path for you, you only have one life to live and it’s your life. I got great advice from all people, my mom, about a year ago when she told me: “Adam, it’s your life. Live your life, don’t try to live your life for someone else, don’t try to make other people happy, live your life for you.” And I think too often, we fall into this trap of trying to please other people and trying to, look, I think it’s extremely important to seek out the counsel, wisdom and advice of others. But at the same time, I think it’s extremely important to trust your gut, to trust your heart and to follow what you know is right. And if you do that and you’re a passionate person, you’re going to live a very passionate life. So to answer your question, it’s very easy to spend your life and spend your time doing things that you can get really, really engaged in when you’re doing things that you’re passionate about.

“It's a lot easier when you spend your time directed and channeled toward endeavors that align with your interests and that align with what really gets you going.” - Adam Mendler Click To Tweet

Art Costello: Yeah. I’m one of these fortunate people. When I do something, I really get passionate about it. I’ve always said, if I was going to be a car washer or a trash guy, I would do it with more passion than anyone else, because I just get very passionate about everything that I do. I think that the best advice your mother gave you is, and I put it in this form with people, live to your core expectations, not to the expectations of other people. I think that’s great because you’ll find true happiness when you live to your core expectations. Just off the top of your head, I’m going to ask you a question, can you identify your three core expectations?

Adam Mendler: My three core expectations, can you clarify the question? I want to make sure that I answer it in my ability.

“You only have one life to live and it's YOUR life.” - Adam Mendler Click To Tweet

Art Costello: I always deal with self expectation because I think it’s the most powerful tool we have in our tool chest to figure out society, to figure out our own personal space. When I was nine years old, I had to figure out life on my own and it really taught me a great deal because I couldn’t rely on anyone else. It took me a lot of years to figure this out and I didn’t do it after my wife passed away. But my core expectations have always been love, integrity, and communication. Those are my three core expectations and that’s what I live by. No one can blow me off of them. You could take dynamite, and I live to those expectations. And when you do that, I believe you find true happiness. I can’t tell you how happy a life I’ve lived, and being 72 years old going to be 73, I’ve lived a lot of life, and I’ve had a lot of heartache, and I’ve had a lot of victories, and I’ve had a lot of tragedy, defeat and all that. But the thing that’s always kept me going, is that in the end, I know everything’s all right, everything’s a learning experience and that is what I’m all about. I now teach people the principles that I believe that created this beautiful life that I’ve lived. I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do. I was a Marine in Vietnam, I wanted that structure. When I was younger, I didn’t have any structure in my life. That structure I got out of the Marine Corps was vital for me to be successful in the rest of my life because it taught me the discipline and structure I needed to get through. But everything is always, I care deeply about people, I always have and I always will.

“Live to your core expectations, not to the expectations of other people.” - Art Costello Click To Tweet

Adam Mendler: Yeah, just in our connection, I think it’s very clear that you’re a very compassionate person, Art, to be able to observe that about you. I mean, to answer your question, I really try to live by, one North Star, which is at the end of the day, the decisions you’re making, decisions made out of best intentions or not. I try to make every decision out of a place of goodness, and not every decision I make is going to be right. I make plenty of bad decisions. I think we all make bad decisions. We make bad decisions every day. I think that as a leader, it’s important to make as few bad decisions as possible and to try to make the bad decisions beyond issues that are truly impactful. And when you do make a bad decision, try to recover from it as quickly as possible rather than compounding it. When you make a bad decision, acknowledge it, own up to it. But with all that, if you make decisions out of a place of goodness, even if you make a bad decision, I think that you’re going to be in a better place. Then if you make decisions out of self-interest, that isn’t to say that you never make decisions out of self-interest, obviously, we all care about ourselves. There’s that line that I learned in a Jewish school, I don’t know how many years ago I learned it but I certainly relearned it over the years as a leader, if I’m not for myself, who will be? If I’m only for myself, who am I? And I think that all leaders really adopt that framework, all leaders should really adopt that mindset, certainly the mindset that I have.

“If I'm not for myself, who will be? If I'm only for myself, who am I?” - Adam Mendler Click To Tweet

Art Costello: I agree. There comes a point in our life when we just have to accept the things that we, the decisions we’ve made, we have to make in faith that everything is going to work out the way that it’s supposed to be. And when you come from that basis of goodness, making decisions and goodness, I don’t see how you could make a bad decision. It’s just maybe less educated, and I often say there is no such thing as a bad decision, the only bad decision is to make no decision at all because that’s more costly than making a less educated decision. Does that make sense?

Adam Mendler: When I was a kid, one of my favorites, I used to love listening to Sports Talk Radio, and I feel like Sports Talk Radio is a genre that’s sort of died out over the years. But when I was a kid, I loved listening to it. One of my favorite Sports Talk Radio show hosts was a guy named Dave Smith. Dave Smith was a really colorful guy. Do you remember Dave Smith? Because I see you laughing.

Art Costello: I do, I do. I do remember Dave Smith.

Adam Mendler: You remember Dave Smith.

Art Costello: Yeah. Yes.

Adam Mendler: So Dave Smith had this great line, Dave Smith would say, better to have an opinion and be wrong than not to have an opinion at all. And I don’t know that that’s true as a leader, I don’t know that that’s true as a CEO, but it’s definitely true to talk radio host. I think that you kind of need to know what your job is, and as a talk radio? Yeah, better to have an opinion to be wrong and not to have it at all. And that’s why Dave Smith was such a great radio host. But as a leader, you’re a hundred percent right. We need to make decisions, if we make the wrong decision, as long as it’s a well thought out, well educated decision that came from a place to goodness, we can recover from it.

Art Costello: Yeah, absolutely. You were talking a little bit about leadership, I want to talk about that because, what do you think are some of the necessary qualities that a good leader has?

Adam Mendler: Great question Art. I think that a leader has to have a number of key characteristics. Leaders have to be able to, number one, be in touch with themselves, and I think that’s a perfect theme of the show. So before you are able to lead others, you need to be able to lead your own life. We always think about the external characteristics, the external traits of an effective leader, but I think first and foremost, leaders need to be fully in tune, fully in touch with their own strengths and their own weaknesses. Leaders who are comfortable in their own skin are capable of succeeding on the leadership journey. Leaders need to care about other people. At the end of the day, leadership is about individual success, it’s about collective success. Leadership is about bringing each and every person, not only in your organization, but impacted by your organization to that next level. Leaders need to be able to inspire. Leaders need to be able to motivate. Leaders need to be able to empower. Leaders need to be able to get out of the way. Great leaders know what they’re capable of doing and what they’re not capable of doing. They know that they’re not the smartest people in the room. They know that if they’re the smartest person in the room, they were in the wrong room. They’re capable of recruiting and attracting the same people who are great, greater than them into their organizations and empowering them. Those are a few things. We can go on and on, great leaders have great vision, and how much time do we have? I mean, my understanding is this is a–

“Leaders who are comfortable in their own skin are capable of succeeding in leadership.” - Adam Mendler Click To Tweet

Art Costello: Let me ask you this question, who are some of the great leaders that you like to look up to?

Adam Mendler: Yeah. I get asked that question often and there are leaders who I admire, who I know. And then there are leaders who I admire, who I don’t know. So you and I were talking a little bit earlier, off-air, and then we were talking on air about baseball. I think that when you look at sports, that’s always a very relatable area to talk to listeners about leadership. When I look at leaders who I admire in sports, I look at leaders who are capable of doing all the things that I just spoke about, who are capable of inspiring, motivating, getting the best out of the people around them. In basketball, a leader who I really admire is Brad Stevens. I think Brad Stevens embodies the modern leader. He doesn’t yell and scream at his players, but he brings his players and his team to their next level. He gets each player to become their best self by teaching them and positioning themselves rather than by motivating through fear and intimidation. In baseball, I’m a big Angels fan as we spoke about, Joe Maddon is as good a leader as there is. I’ve actually interviewed him on my podcast, that episode is going to air in a couple of weeks. The play by play announcer for the Angels, Victor Rojas. Victor and I spoke on air about his experiences with Joe Maddon. He played for Joe Maddon, and he’s not college with Joe Maddon. From afar, I’ve always admired Joe Maddon. He knows Joe Maddon really well. And among the things we talked about was really Joe Maddon’s ability to connect with every single person in the clubhouse. It doesn’t matter if you’re a star player, or the 25th guy on the roster. It doesn’t matter if you have a hundred million dollar contract, or if you’re riding the AAA majorly shuttle. He is someone who makes you feel comfortable, who makes you feel like you belong, who makes you feel like one of the guys. And we can kind of go on and on, but I sort of look at–

Art Costello: I look back on my life and I think about the people that have influenced me, there’s been many, many of them. The biggest leaders in my life, I met him, I think you’ve probably maybe interviewed some of them. I’m just trying to go through my, John Maxwell, author of 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. I’ve just had so many great people, but I think the greatest leader to me was my, actually, platoon Sergeant in Vietnam, just had a great deal of courage, did not yell and scream at us. But the thing that you talked about is connection, and he connected with his men, and he knew that we had to have each other’s back to survive. I think I’ve just learned a lot from him during those 16 months that we were together.

Adam Mendler: I was mentioning some leaders who I don’t know personally, I’ve never met Brad Stevens, I’ve never met Joe Maddon. I wish I was good enough to play for Joe Maddon, but my baseball career topped out as a really, really mediocre high school in fielder, so that never happened. But I have had the fortune of connecting with some of the greatest leaders in the world, some of the greatest military leaders in the world. I’ve had a few on my podcast, I’ve had many in my interview series. The first military leader who I had on my podcast was Admiral James Stavridis who was a four-star Admiral, was the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. Admiral Stavridis really embodies what I believe every leader should be. Admiral Stavridis is a leader who does not lead by yelling and screaming. He’s a leader who leads by explaining, who leads by convincing, who leads by compelling. I’m not sure when our show is going to air, but a week from today, a week from the day that we’re recording, I’m going to be airing an interview that I recorded with a retired three-star General Reynold Hoover. Lieutenant General Reynold Hoover was a three-star general in the United States Army, another phenomenal leader. We aired a 30 minute conversation, and I think that listeners who are not familiar with what generals and admirals are like. I did another interview that’s going to be coming up in June with General Thomas Trask, a three-star retired General from the Air Force. I think that those who are not familiar with what really, really high level leaders in our armed services are like, I encourage them to listen because we sort of have this picture that Hollywood has created of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. When I first interviewed him, we did an interview in a different interview series that I had and I asked him: “Admirals Stavridis, what is the biggest misconception that people have about the military and their leaders?” And he said: “Everyone thinks that we’re like Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men. It couldn’t be further from the truth.”

And in my own personal experience in getting to know some tremendous military leaders, that’s the best way of putting it. General Thomas Trask, he told me when I interviewed him, he never raised his voice, that wasn’t how he worked. He never raised his voice when communicating with his troops. I did another interview with a retired Admiral who told me, he could count on his hand the number of times in his entire military career that someone told him, this is an order. Do this, this is an order, on one hand. So one of the things to me that has really stood out from interviewing the most successful leaders in the country is the core principles of leadership applicable no matter where you lead. If you lead in the military, if you lead a fortune 500 company, if you lead a small startup company, if you lead a baseball team, you need to understand what it takes to be a great leader and you need to apply it. And listening to a retired four-star Admiral, or a three-star General, or fortune 500 CEO, I did an interview with the former CEO of Campbell Soup, and all these great leaders really convey very similar principles about what it takes to lead.

“The core principles of leadership are applicable no matter where you lead… You need to understand what it takes to be a great leader, and you need to apply it.” - Adam Mendler Click To Tweet

Art Costello: I think that you’ve really, really brought up a great point about that. That great leaders are great leaders no matter what field they come from. One of the old questions that you always hear, are great leaders born or they developed? I’ve always been at the idea that great leadership is developed. It’s a skill that we developed and it starts with being faithful to who we are, to knowing who we are, to creating this person who draws in and is able to take care of people, to interact with people to the point where they will follow you anywhere. And that’s only done by experience or thoughts.

Adam Mendler: Very well said.

Art Costello: It’s one of them, we don’t want to go into the problems that we’re having in this country right now, politically, but leadership always starts at the top and stops at the top. I mean, leadership is leadership and it’s got to be solid, it’s got to be consistent, it’s gotta be faithful. There’s a whole lot of qualities in leadership that we’ve talked about.

Adam Mendler: Absolutely. If anyone wants to talk politics with me, I’m always happy to talk politics. I try to keep that a little bit isolated from my appearances, although I do have very strong views in terms of my own political beliefs. And people could probably guess where I fall on the political spectrum. But with that said, regardless of whether you’re a Democrat, or Republican, or independent, there’s no question that leadership starts at the top. And at the end of the day, who came up with the line, the buck stops here, who is the ultimate leader, the president of the United States, because the buck stops at the top. And this is a perfect example of what’s happening right now with the coronavirus crisis.

Art Costello: We were talking about politics and stuff, and I’m pretty independent when it comes to politics because I realize that all politicians are trying to influence you, and I want to make my own decisions. They’re supposed to follow our lead, I’m very idealistic about it. But you know, the constituency is who really is supposed to be who our politicians represent. What has happened is money has gotten so big and huge in politics that it’s such a controlling factor, but that’s a time for another podcast.

Adam Mendler: Yeah. I don’t know if you got a chance to read the article in the New Yorker this morning, everyone’s gonna know what my political views are, but yes, I read The New Yorker. Yes, I did read the article this morning on Mitch McConnell, I don’t know if you got a chance to read it. If you didn’t, I highly recommend that. It was on Mitch McConnell history, money and politics, I highly recommend it.

Art Costello: I will do that. Well, we’re getting near the end of our show and I wanted to give you the opportunity to tell the audience where they can get a hold of you, how they get a hold of you, anything you’ve got coming up in the next few months that they can connect with you on.

Adam Mendler: Art, thank you for that. Firstly, this was an absolute pleasure, I really enjoyed being with you. Really enjoyed the opportunity to speak to you and to speak to your audience, and to just take the time here and have a very meaningful conversation. Thank you for this time and this platform.

Art Costello: We’re honored to have you.

Adam Mendler: Thank you. I tried to make it really easy for people to find me, just my name, Adam Mendler, so you can find me at adammendler.com. You can connect with me on social media, on Instagram, at adammendler. On Twitter, at adammendler. I hope anyone who’s interested in podcasts, which you might be if you’re listening to this one, check out my podcast called Thirty Minute Mentors, it’s all spelled out, Thirty Minute Mentors. You can find it at thirtyminutementors.com, or on your favorite podcasting app, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher. As we just spoke about earlier, Art, talking about passion, I’ve really poured my heart and soul into these interviews. I continue to, I work really hard at bringing on the best people I can find, people who I think have the best perspectives on how to get to the top, and on how listeners can as well. I try to make it as valuable 30 minutes as possible for anyone who takes the time to listen to it. So if anyone is interested, that’s how you can find me, and hope to connect.

Art Costello: And I’m going to encourage my audience to look you up, follow you, get involved with you and pick your brain as much as they can, because I think you’ve got a lot of great, great passions and information that people really, really need to hear today. And it’s been an honor having you on the show, I’d love to have you back sometime, we can do this again and just have a good time, have a good conversation.

Adam Mendler: Art, the honor was mine. I’m happy to come back anytime. You know where to find me, I’m not going very far for the foreseeable future. It was truly a pleasure.

Art Costello: With that being said, I’m going to close the show out, and all the information about Adam will be in the show notes. You can hopefully not wait that long to get them, just go reach out today and try to get a hold of them. You know where you could get a hold of me at expectationtherapy.com, and my email is [email protected]. And with that being said, I’m going to let Heather White take us out of here.

 

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