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Dare to Launch


Jun 4, 2024

Join your hosts Chris Saunders and Jeff Walker this week as they dive into an evergreen topic: mental resilience. Growing Product Launch Formula from a one-man operation to a robust 40-person team has taught Jeff countless lessons about leadership, communication, and organizational flow. And like any business venture, there have been peaks and valleys along the way. One of the biggest factors in Jeff’s success has been his ability to maintain a sense of mental resilience through thick and thin. Key to today’s discussion is a concept from the great Jim Collins book “Good to Great”: the Stockdale Paradox or “Stockdale Moment” as Jeff calls it. Collins believes that in difficult moments, great organizations and leaders thrive by maintaining unwavering belief in their mission and tackling challenges head-on. This idea has been a kind of north star for Jeff in times of struggle, with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as an important example. Jeff looks back on the hysteria and uncertainty of 2020, and how he tackled that moment of disorder and shepherded his company to the other side. He also offers up some other nuggets of wisdom he learned from traveling to Richard Branson’s island, from listening to Ex-Navy SEAL Jocko Willink’s podcast, and from reading Victor Frankl’s “The Man’s Search for Meaning.” Above all, Jeff explains that the key to resilient leadership is maintaining a progressive, forward-thinking perspective.

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Key topics discussed: 

  • The COVID-19 Pandemic: Jeff recalls the difficulties that Product Launch Formula went through in 2020 and how he was able to move forward. 

  • Organizational Communication: In difficult times, Jeff believes strongly that we need to be able to emote and discuss freely within our organizations.  

  • Jeff’s Love of Meditation: Jeff’s daily meditation practice has a ripple effect on how he acts in every situation throughout the day. 

  • Perspective vs. On-the-Ground Knowledge: As the leader of the company, Jeff reflects on how he now has more perspective, but less information on the daily happenings of the company, and how leaders must be able to balance these two opposing forces.

  • The Stories We Tell Ourselves: We’re all constantly creating self-mythologies about our lives. Jeff believes that we have the choice to make these narratives solution-based instead of problem-focused.  

Key takeaways: 

  • Mental resilience is experiencing a setback and understanding that it’s an event, it’s not who you are. 

  • We need to address problems, but we can’t dwell on them. How do we move forward?

  • As you move higher up in a company, you’re responsible for less daily tasks, but you’re responsible for more time. You have to become a visionary. 

  • We have to remain inspired and positive at all times. Then when adversity rears its head, we’re ready to take it on. 

  • True leaders must adopt a servant mentality. How can we best serve our team and our company?

Resources Referenced in the episode: 

“Good to Great” by Jim Collins

“The Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl 

Jocko Willink’s podcast “Jocko Podcast”

 

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