Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
The Leadercast Podcast
The Leadercast Podcast

Episode 65 · 2 weeks ago

65: Self-Awareness is a Competitive Advantage w/ Jeremie Kubicek

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Before founding GiANT and Leadercast (and writing numerous books), Jeremie Kubicek had one of those near-death experiences you see in the movies, and it sparked a journey of discovery. In this week's episode, Jeremie unpacks how self-awareness and internal peace are superpowers in life.

If you need a turnkey professional development and team building experience for your company or community, leader Cast events, it's your answer. We provide the guidance, technology and entertaining CEU accredited content for you to stream an in person or virtual event for your team. Welcome to the leader Cast podcast, a weekly deep dive into the stories that transformed our guests into leaders worth following. I'm your host Joe Boyd. This week, I'm talking with Jeremy cuba Check about how to find peace in your life, also about the Justice League, Broccoli and your teeth and the best advice you ever got from his mentor Dub. I think you're gonna enjoy it. Jeremy cuba Check, Hello, thank you so much for being here. This is awesome. You are the very first guest on our big relaunch of our leader Cast podcast. It's been over two years since we were We're rolling and super excited that you can be first one back. Very cool. Um, I'm privileged and so so excited about the future leader Clasts and your leadership and yeah fired up. Thanks man. We're gonna try something with this podcast where pretty much everyone we're gonna have on and you're no exception. You've got a ton of great content and resources for leaders you could give us, especially you. You could give us list after list and image after image of things that make people a better leader. Um, and we want to give our folks access to that sort of stuff. But for this, uh interview, I really just want to get into you and your leadership journey. What made you the sort of leader you are As much as you're willing, Let's let's hear all the gritty mistakes and failures that you made, all the successes you've had, and how that helped formed you. And for this we kind of use Joseph Campbell's Heroes Journey for this. So think about how almost everyone in the world was kind of born into what felt like an ordinary world, and usually some sort of mentor comes along and calls them to some great adventure. Often times we don't want to do it at first,...

...but then we give in and the mentor gives us some sort of like sword to slay this mythical dragon that we have to kill to get the treasure that we always wanted. And then when we get that treasure, we bring it back to our ordinary world and it's helpful to us and helpful to our friends and family. So we just kind of used that as a as a backdrop to kind of get your story out and hear, hear what made you the leader you are. My first question I'd love to start with, uh is take yourself. Take yourself back to like an eight nine year old young Jeremy kidbil check. Uh. What in terms of like TV or movies or books, was there any sort of adventure story, heroes story that you were really drawn to as a kid. What's the first thing you think of when I ask you that. Yeah, it's actually it's interesting. It's probably not a one person It was actually the super Friends. Yeah, it was actually the whole idea of the Hall of Justice. And then that's kind of translated now to like the Avengers, that the Avenger Tower, the idea that all of these superheroes would actually yield themselves to work together, and that it wasn't just even though there's fighting and fighting sometimes when when there was actual need and a call to action, they would all join together and they'd go for it and they would really fight for the highest good of everybody and to fight the bad guys. That to me, every single time I would see a rally of these superheroes come together, It like emotionally gets me, even the monkey, even the monkey name leak Um. Was there anyone in particular that if you, if you had to choose, you're on the playground. Were you drawn to uh to any of them in particular? Yeah, you know, I not, That's the funny part. Not really. I mean I like Batman, I like Superman, I like them all, but I kind of Aquaman, which always intriguing me. But it was just the idea of the...

...superheroes themselves together. If if the young version of you could like fast forward time travel to see you now. Uh. One thing I always wonder about is what what's the one thing that you think you're uh, little Jeremy would be kind of proud of that you've done in your life. And is there anything that would shock shock you seeing the life you have now? Um? You know I always had this Uh well, so the young meat would would probably. Uh. I had these big aspirations as a kid of like who says we can't kind of a thing. And I've lived in Russia, lived in London, I've been you know, I've done some many things in my life. But it was really this idea of like, go for it. And I think that the eight year old me would go, yeah, you did it, you went for it, like yes, good job. And then there's the twenty old me was probably in college. I was like, I don't want to be a sellout by what time I'm fifty. And the sellout for me was like back in the day was man, if you if it's all about money, then you're selling out this kind of idealistic me. And so I don't think he would be shocked, but I think it would probably like we built a neighborhood. My wife and I live in this neighborhood we built. Well would that would that person be shocked that I was sellout by building a neighborhood? And I think, but I'd have to explain it to myself to go, no, no, no, here's the raction. Now, here's the reason we did, Here's what we're trying to accomplish, here's what we're trying to do with influence. So I'd have to almost convince myself like I didn't sell out, Yes I have right, And I went, you're from Oklahoma, right, and then you went on this long journey, this actual physical journey through the world, and then back to Oklahoma City. My journey sort of similar. Was born in eastern Kentucky. Uh,...

...and now I live five minute walk from Kentucky. I'm in Cincinnati, Ohio, right across the river. It is weird how this the journey almost sometimes physically takes you home. Um. Do you ever think about that as part of your life, of all the adventures you went on and here you are back where you started? Even more so, Joe. Um, we have my family farm. We moved from Prague, Tchechoslovakia to Prague, Oklahoma, so very original. Uh. It's a hundred four year old farm and Um. Currently that farm is an anchor to me, and it means a lot my parents all those things. So for me, when I left to go to Russia and then I came back, then I left to go to Atlanta and then London, and then we came back, it always was always around this farm. Well, my wife and I were building my family were building a wedding venue on the thousand acres called the Farmstead. And the farmstead is just this wedding complex that's going to be right in the middle. So we're just redoing my grandparents home that he built for her for their wedding gift and that's going to be the bridal house and we're like, it's just full circle. So we're looking we're living this narrative right now. Yeah. Yeah, that's ah. It's sort of fun when your actual physical journey mirrors what's gone on inside, right It's a it's a nice metaphor to kind of live with every day. Um, we just got to know each other in the last few months. You uh the founder. What's your official title at Giant, I don't want to mess it up, executive champ, founder, executive chairman. Yeah, yeah, which we'll get to this in a little bit. But you actually uh formed and helped get Leader Cast off the ground many years ago before I even knew you, and now so we sort of had this interesting new uh partnership and friendship where it's it's not not often you get the opportunity to sort of connect with a person that that kind of launched the organization that that I ended up in charge of. So it's you've been a great...

...help, by the way for me in the last few months, and it's been such a cool connection. We'll get to that sort of weird coming home against stuff again for you here in a second, what what I'd love to to think through that journey though that that we go on. It's um, you know what you say about the super Friends is really interesting because like Star Wars is probably my super nerdy like the thing I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Um. And of course his his real like treasure was a family. He was an orphan and he he needed friends. He needed that adventure, but he also needed a sister who he found in a father ultimately and all this kind of stuff. So, uh, it's interesting that community part was already kind of in your heart, even because a lot of times I think we can't verbalize that's what we really need. We think we need something else. But I know, and I know a little bit of your story that once our journey begins, there these miss massive turning points along the way. Um. And they uh, they usually come from either a failure or just a pain, you know, a big disruption. And I know you've got a story like that. I was wondering, could you tell us a little bit about uh that you're late twenties, early thirties, that the story of how your your life kind of took a turning point. Yeah, So I had done a lot in my twenties, a lot, and I was very ambitious. And I was the only child, so I think that was probably me trying to go out and explore the world and all those things. By the way, we're only going to book all my children for this podcast. I ended very special. I ended coming back to um, you know, America. And and so we started our business Giant in two thousand two. Before I started it, and we had a big I giant g I a ant and the idea was like, let's do big things in a humble way. Let's do let's do big things and do good as we go. That's kind of the general idea. But um, what happened to me is my wife and I went to Mexico and we were We went to Cancun in September, which is always cheaper there because hurricanes come to this hurricane was coming and...

...so we got boarded up in this little hotel in Camcoon, away from the resort, right away from the water as much as possible. And um anyway, um, we that night we were in this we got putting this fleaback hotels. We're like, let's don't stay here, let's go do something, So we saw a movie. Theater was open in the middle of a hurricane, so we went to see Signs by Mel Gibson. And while we were there, after the movie, I got into a taxi Kelly and I. She wasn't behind, I was in front, and I started contemplating what would happen if in the movie Gibson's wife dies by a drunk driver. And I was like, huh, how would I respond if that happened? And I don't want to be like Mel Gibson And that was kind of the time. And then what happens to my kids? Well, I don't want to give up faith where I wanna, I don't. I don't want that to affect me if my kids somehow happened, And then what about me? What does something happen to me? I literally contemplating this, Joe as that's happening, And probably a millisecond after I had that thought, my wife goes, no, watch out and let me turn and a head lamp a car literally went into the side like a missile and took me out and pushed me into the dry ever seat. I didn't have a steepbell on my sternum popped out nine ribs, snap seven intestines paralyzed in the waist down and in Mexico at night, and it's a category three is pretty big hurricane. And so I'm they're having these conversations like to myself, having conversations with God in the moment of like, huh, I never thought this would happen. Wow, am I gonna I'm gonna die in Mexico. That is so weird. So there's a there's a lot more to it, more than our It's probably a forty five minute talk that what happened. But in that time frame, in that process of actually dying and actually breathe my last breath, I got to float above...

...the car, see the car, see the other car, see the rain coming down. It was crazy. It's like a movie as I'm floating above this steam. Obviously here I'm not paralyzed. There was a number of things that happened. There's actually crazy amount of miracles that completely changed the way that we view life. And my wife and I experienced it. So from that moment, we get home and we had one client and um, that was it, you know, And so we started our business with that experience and one client and I changed the eye from a big eye and giant to a little eye and always squashed the eye and the eye literally stands for humility, not pride. And it's the idea that something so profound can actually cause you to maybe give up trying to be somebody or prove yourself, or maybe just the issues of insecurity. And that's the journey I've probably been on since that period of time. That's uh, he told me that story once before, but that that really is crazy. Like it's um not to nerd out too much on the whole story theory stuff, but that, um, you have a physical representation of what we all have to go through in my mind. You know, we all have to diet ourselves at some point to be to be ready to face the dragon to get what we really are supposed to do. Um. And would when I say that, would you feel like that all sort of collided in that moment, Like was that your moment of kind of death to self? Yeah? I think it was. Actually it was the start of the journey of death to self. It wasn't the fulfillment it would be started it, but it started it. Like I had on my wife and unbelievable piece and I write about peace. I talked about peace a lot, but pieces power, because when you're a peace, you've actually dealt...

...with insecurity. And most leaders are so insecure that there they allow pride trying to be something, trying to be somebody, to reign and they're in themselves and when they do it undermines their influence ultimately and they never really get what they really want. So actually, this idea of death, this idea of humility, this idea that peace is power. Um it, that was starting point. And I'm just on this journey and I'm literally worth super hard every single day to manage my emotions so that other people don't have to manage my emotions. And that's that's what I do. That's what I that's why I create the content I create. I know you do this all day along, so I know what your answer is already. But if you can expand on it, like often wonders, it even possible to get that insecurity out of your system, or you get to a place of peace without that huge incident, you know, whether it's a near death experience like you had, or a complete failure where you lose your old company, lose your marriage, whatever it is. Um have you found that you can sort of over time get people to that place without that sort of life altering incident. Yes, life altering for sure. Um, looking in the mirror and seeing Brockleater teeth and not blaming someone else. That's really hard. It's like if I do this, I hey Joe where Yeah, here's a mirror? Hey man, do you see it? Here's right? Okay? Do you want to get it out? You want? And I literally chipped my front tooth right before this. Um, you see it. It's awesome. You know how I did it doing nothing? That's how old I am. I'm officially part of my teeth falls out years old. Starbucks just too much? Man? But yeah, so so you so in some ways you see your as a mirror two...

...leaders to let them see yeah, And I use tools and mirrors and help them because ultimately most people so want something there shows trying to be something or they so they overdo it and I actually have to take them on a journey of like relax, trust and you start working through and I call it it's a tendency lot and I take people through this journey to go do you know what your tendencies are? You have a tendency to exaggerate. You have a tendency to overshare, you have a tendency to try to prove yourself. You have a tendency to slander people. You have a tendency to blow up in their face. You have a whatever it is, and then get them to the point where they can start having grace for that and laugh at it and go it is I always you'll you'll never not have that tendency. But it's what you do with it. It's like a pattern that you have. When do you do it and why do you do it? And when you know I'm about to I'm about to exaggerate, don't add three, don't add three, don't add three, and you don't exaggerate to a situate a situation that's when the change happens. And but what I have to do is almost be um and I train people how to do. This is to train coaches and consultants to help people with mirrors. They go, look, it's okay, we all have broccoli in our teeth. If we will finally be comfortable with that reality and realize that we do and then know when we do it and why we do it, it's called self control. It's called self awareness, and self awareness then is a competitive advantage because when people see that you're willing to laugh at yourself or you're willing to recognize that you have a tendency, then everyone else will have grace with you too, because you have grace for yourself and you begin to support yourself and not dominate yourself with all of this pressure. So I really, literally, Joe, and I've never said this before, I've basically created a business to solve my own issues, and that's...

...all. I'm like, I have seventy five tools that we've created, and the majority of those tools were built off of my own weakness, Like, oh I do this, I'm sure Joe does this too. I'm sure that other people do it too. And then I help those schools become these mirrors. And the mirror looks at a tool and go, huh, yeah, I had broccoli here, okay, and they get it out or they at least are aware of it and they talk about it. So it's just a it's a system and a process that's probably came through has come through my own journey of dealing with insecurity and dealing with humility and pride and trying to be somebody my entire life and getting past that. Look, I'm a fifty year fifty one year old balding guy that but I'm also secure and I'm confident, and I'm humble, or at least I try to be. That's that's my goal. A lot of this, for some reason reminds me of kind of the Twelve Steps that I know. It's not that there's there's this sort of like acceptance of like, I'm not gonna make it on my own right and I have to get help and I have to you know that that is the ultimate way to humble. But why I I brought that up? As I wonder if you do you do you ever feel like you're just a day away from all that coming back all the insecurity and the like? Is it? How do you manage internally? How do you think about it these days? No, it's it's ever present. It's it's a tendency to want to be something or somebody. It's there every single day. So I've had to manage my own emotions. And then I have just written a book called Peace Index. In that book, in chapter eight, I lay out how I manage my emotions for myself and I'll do it real fast. Number one, I do a call up session every morning. This morning, I remind myself who I am, what I'm about, almost like my superpowers. It's like saying, hey, I'm iron Man. Let's and then I think about what I'm...

...talented with and I'm trying not to put on other people's superpowers. I'm reminding myself what I'm gifted as. Now. I make that a devotional process too, so that so there's a spiritual element too with it. But it's a mental element, spiritual element, and it helps me get in the right frame of mind. Uh. And then in the evenings, at five thirty every night I do this process, my watch goes off, my alarm, it says examined, and I go back to my day and I go, what are the two or three things I was grateful for um this morning, I get the privilege of serving work with a governor and I get to help him and share some things to him. It was a powerful, powerful moment this morning. It was so good, one of my top moments. I'll probably never forget what happened this morning. So I'm gonna go I'm grateful for that I got to be with Joe and and kind of rekindle this partnership and relationship with leader casts, which I love. That's a really cool moment, you know. So I'm going back through my day and go, what are the two or three things I'm thankful for? Then I do this one next thing the examine is, um, where was I off today? Like where where was I not at peace with other people? Or where was I off? And so far as it depends on me, where was I off? Not on them? It's not about Joe. It was about Jeremy. Yeah, I'm like, yeah, I got miffed when Danielle said something, or why didn't they honor me? I'm the founder, co founder of this? Why didn't they? And then so what I'm doing is I'm going through my tendency log of going, Okay, that's a tendency Jeremy, you're wanting honor. That's a tendency number twenty two. Uh when do I want it? And why do I want that? Well? Because and then what would I do is I start playing an investigator and detective on my own self awareness and I go, yeah, that was you. It wasn't Danielle. She didn't know, So what are my actions don't say anything, don't write that email back,...

...don't mention it to anyone. Let it be it's you, not her. And then I go, great, I'm a piece. So I have to manage myself like that, and every day I'll do that. It takes me about five seven minutes. I do it when I'm driving wherever, at an airport. And then the last thing I do at night is if any negativity slips through my traps, then I do this rest in peace sleep. I think about what's the theme that I want over me tonight before I go to bed. Uh so, um, you know, choosing um, choosing joy in the morning or eradicating negativity or pick something. And I'm like, that's what I want in the morning. So I put it over me while I sleep, and then when I wake up in the morning, I go, what was my theme again? Oh yeah, eradicate negativity. Got it? It sets my tone to my day. Then I do a column again. But I have to do that level because I'm a feeler and I have to manage my emotions. I think it would be a little different, but that's what I have to do. That's I mean, that's super helpful. It's very man it's very almost like monastic. It's very like the secret to knowing the patterns of a day, uh is what can give you, I think such great piece to know that, to know that's coming right. Like so it helps another say, personally's something I struggle very much. I'm a off the chart kind of I use any grand language a lot. I'm a seven. I believe you are too. But the UM, I like knowing anything is possible in any moments. So sometimes structure it feels like a prison to me, but in reality it's often the thing that actually gives us peace. Right, it's having that structure empower yourself and your team to tackle some of the most difficult leadership challenges and grow professionally. With leader cast Now, the leader cast Now app and online platform provide you access to more than one...

...and video lessons to help you navigate issues like change management, remote working guidelines, emotional intelligence, workplace conflict negotiating, and more. Visit leader cast now dot com for more info. It sounds like maybe your own insecurity was sort of the dragon in your life that had to be slayed, uh, and that um, this incident came along the way. What what were there any particular mentors that helped you with that that you can name or or think about along the way, that helped give you what you needed to sort of. I've had so many mentors. I have many words of my life on a regular basis. And the older you get, then you realize that you are the mentor for other people. You don't happen, but you're providing that to other people. But one of them, his name was Doug. I won't share his last name. He's a very he was a very interesting man and he was in d C. And Doug one day he would say. He would say things like us, Jeremy, Um, the fountains move. I'm like, what, Doug, the fountains move? No move? He goes, yeah, well, what what a fountains do? Why do people come to fountains? Well? I only need refreshing, They need water. It's ambiance. They like the sound of it, it's peaceful. He goes, be a fountain. And that was his message to me. And it was like okay, And so we dug further into it and he basically says, no one comes to dirty fountains. That's true. Think about Yeah, so people with dirty fountains, the water's toxic, no one wants anything to do with it. It becomes a cesspool. Um, so be a fountain. The idea is, if you're fully alive. So why do I work so much on as I'm trying to be fully alive because I can't give about it? Don't put us. And when you're a fountain, people come to you. You don't have to chase them. And I think that was one of the most helpful things in slaying my dragon, is in trying to be somebody...

...or whatever. It's like, No, just be healthy. The healthier you can be, the more people will pull from you. They'll come you, and they'll get received the things that you've wanted out of being the healthiest person you can. And that's really where I've spent a lot of time. I love that. Thank you, Doug. Right, Doug from DC appreciate that. That's pretty good. Hey man, we we got a few minutes here left. I had heard of you for years. I've been around the Leadership brand for eight or nine years before I took over CEO in twenty one, and I knew that you were one of the founders of co Founders or something, and people always said nice things about you, but we only got to meet a couple of months ago, and it's it's I know I've said this once before. Man, it has been like the biggest, one of the biggest sort of breath of fresh air in my life. And the empathy you're able to extend to me is pretty great. Uh. And also because I am so into this idea that stories are cyclical and come back around. Uh. First, I'll just want to let everyone know you're gonna be a speaker. We just figured this out for sure. You'll be speaking at our human intelligence event that will premiere may on your piece, uh index and how to have peace in your life. It's it's perfect thing for that, and it's a great sort of homecoming for you. Could could you give this might be difficult the two or three minutes story of how Leader Casts came to be, what you're role in it was, and and uh, maybe where you hope to see it go. Yeah. So my business partner at the time, Matthew Myners, he and I basically we had Giant Partners, was the name of a company we bought Enjoy, which was Maximum Impact Enjoy John Maxwell's assets, and we've merged the men the Giant, and I started to appeal on the partners twenty something brands, and I started to turn off all the bad brands and I started to focus on catalysts. And we had John Maxwell. Well, then we sold John Maxwell's companies and in that he had the maximum...

...impact simulcast. So um, we basically sold all of that, and so I thought, you know what, let's continue to have our own simulcast type of event. So there was a brand that was in kind of off the shelf called leader Cast that we actually uh had, and I basically hold that off the shop and go, let's make it leader Cast. And so let's go partner with Chick fil A. And we started this partnership with Chick fil A and chickil A. Leader Cast was actually born um in Paris, Um no sorry, in London. We were interviewing to Tony Blair and just a cool moment both brands, Chick fil A and leader Cast together and so then you know, after me, the Chick fil A peace dissolved. Um. That was another story. But Leader Cast, the brand itself was just strong. It was a really great brand. It was really good, and so we got it to about a hundred and eighties something thousand people, um, and I don't know even know how many countries that we're in and we had host sites all over and um. So for me, I look at it and go, it's making it through COVID and different leadership regimes and different things. So Joe, I'm like super excited when I found out you were running this, and I go, finally, like, we have a good leadership team. We have a good team focused on doing the right things to the leader Cast is special, it's really really important. And it's not I was just a founder. I was just the incubator starter. Um, but I'm so ecstatic that you're leading this and so I'm I'm fully vested in helping you build it and grow it and literally expanded because the world needs better leaders. And that's ultimately why leader Cast was born. The world needs better leaders. Ohow that man, And there's a honored be one of your super friends,...

...uh and come together uh, which everyone has kind of the least power. And I'll take that one. But I'm one of the twins. I gotta find the other one. I don't remember them all, but the uh, this came along as an opportunity for me, and it felt like a very worthy thing to do for the what what might be the final kind of run of my uh you know career in a sense uh that I felt like if as I was signing up for it, it was that at least that big of a commitment. Um. And I couldn't think of a better mission than to to help the world get better leaders because that's what we need. And so there's there's no way in the world. The one thing I know for sure is I can't do it alone. I can't even scratch the surface. It's about finding a team of folks too together together. So thank you for being a part of our team as well. Can't wait uh for this mate, for you to talk on the stage. Super excited, so grateful. Man, Well, thanks so much. Man. Do you if if people want more information from you, you just want to let them know how to connect with giant what's the best thing that can do? Yeah, if they want to check check a look at what we're doing right now. Is the Peace index book dot com, the Peace and Book dot com and that that gives a highlight on me on kind of a peace assessment that they can get or they can get a giant worldwide dot com for more information. If you're a coach or consultant and want to take a look at that, all right, I love it Man, great to talk to you, Thanks Joe, see about nights. Leadership is a team sport, but team sports are hard. That's why our team is so passionate about helping companies and communities develop leaders and teams that trust each other to do the hard work together. One of the easiest ways to develop your teams and leaders is to stream a half day or full day leader Cast event for your workplace or community world class content that is thought provoking and activating. Visit us at leader cast dot com to find out more.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (67)