Michael: Hello everyone. And welcome to the HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And this is the podcast that helps you business owners and leaders build passion and provision companies full of profit, purpose and legacy.
Kathryn: And we are super excited today to welcome James Miller to the podcast. James, just by way of quick introduction, is a licensed psychotherapist. So I'm just going to be nervous the entire time we're talking.
Michael: We're being analyzed as we speak.
Kathryn: He's the executive producer and host of the nationally broadcasted and syndicated radio show James Miller Lifeology. James has been in the mental health field for over 23 years. And after 14 years in private practice, James left his thriving practice in the DC area and created James Miller Lifeology where he globally helps people simplify and transform their spirit, mind and body. So we're at business podcasts. It's like how in the world did you end up connecting with a licensed psychotherapist who helps people with their spirit, mind and body?
Michael: We own businesses. I mean isn't that simple?
Kathryn: And we need help. So we had an opportunity to be interviewed by James on his Lifeology podcast, which was quite a treat, and just had such a great conversation. We thought let's-
Michael: We have to continue the conversation.
Kathryn: ... continue the conversation. And in this particular instance, get to ask him loads more questions. So welcome to the show, James. We're super happy to have you.
James: Thank you so much. I'm honored to be a guest on your show. You both did fantastic on my show. So your listeners definitely need to check it out as well.
Michael: Yes, absolutely.
Kathryn: Thank you.
Michael: Okay. So let's dive in. All right, James, how did you get to the place where you are now? Because what wasn't said here is that you're also a musician, that you've also recorded. By the way, I went out to Google and actually found both your albums and listened to some stuff. I have questions about that.
James: I'm sure.
Michael: But how does a guy like you go from, "I'm a musician." Then, "I'm a psychotherapist." To private practice, to a radio show that's reaching three million people? It doesn't sound like a straight line.
James: Oh, really, is it? Well, first off, thank you. It's funny, I'm actually ambidextrous. So I write with both hands. And so, for me, when I conceptualize things, I think of it in a... I guess the context is a little bit different. So I can think of it from a very creative standpoint, but from a very logical standpoint. So people who know me more in the creative sense, don't often understand the very logical side and they can't fully understand from where I'm coming. So I guess for me, I always had a lot of interests. So when I was three years old, I would be singing in church. I started playing the piano. But the funny thing is you don't know is when I was an undergrad, I actually wanted to become a geneticist. So I wanted to cure cancer and I wanted to do all these things. And then-
Kathryn: So you just need to clone yourself and have several versions of you doing different things in the planet. Okay. All right.
James: Well, but yeah, I guess all of us had lots of interests. I was in the entertainment industry as well. When I was younger, I did some commercials and I was featured in a independent film in Spain, which is cool. So I did a lot of things, but I decided to go into the psychotherapy world. And so I had an opportunity to go to film school in LA, but decided to go to graduate school and finish my graduate work.
Michael: Oh, wow.
James: And then I had to do my doctorate. But during that, I got away from the entertainment world, but music and just literally being on stage has always been my life. And so it's interesting for me to come back to be on television like this because I find that I start to thrive again. For the longest time when I was in private practice, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the interpersonal aspect of it. But just like all of us, I wasn't really feeling fulfilled. And so with that, I found that I reached the pinnacle of my career in a lot of ways from different accolades. But once again, I wasn't growing. And as we know, there's... I think, statistics states there's actually five iterations of our professional career, and that can be within the same aspect of your job or your industry, but the iterations continually change.
James: So for me, the iterations were in different fields and now I have one more iteration that we're coming up with, with my own TV show which we'll be filming in a couple of weeks actually.
Michael: Oh, good.
James: So that's been really cool. So for me, it's been a lot of changes. So the way I look at this, is it's all the same thing even though it sounds like different industries. For me, when I listen to music, I hear neuropsychotherapy, I hear the way your heartbeat changes. I hear all these things. And so I guess in some ways I'm a little strange coming to those things. But I see and hear things in a way that's specific to me. And so I'll be there truly connected in the way I visualize and understand the world. The funny thing was when you said initially, "How do we link with a psychotherapist?" Well, if you think about it from a business standpoint, we're our own CEO of our life. So when I look at my life, I am the project manager, I am the person who cleans the bathrooms, I'm someone who does everything. So in some ways we're like a solo entrepreneur in a lot of ways.
James: And so when you link that together with your business model, you want to see where's the synergy there, where's the connection where it says not a disconnect? So if you're telling yourself to do one thing, and at home, perhaps with your family, you're doing something slightly different, where's the authenticity? Where's the integrity if you will? Where's the congruency in that? So for me, going back to what I was saying, is all of the different things I do are part of who I am and how I just really understand the world. So as a solo entrepreneur in my own life, I've manifested that into other businesses that I have as well.
Kathryn: [inaudible 00:05:16]. So we're talking to James 4.0, 3.0...
Kathryn: 3.5. He'll be 4.0 next week.
Michael: Because I have a feeling that if there's five iterations and the television shows next, I believe there's going to be something after the TV.
James: Well, we'll see.
Kathryn: Meeting James 3.5.
Michael: And last time we talked, all the filming had actually been put on pause because of COVID.
James: Yes. It was so frustrating. So the budget's been approved, everything's set up. I have a couple different options of where we'll be filming and they made a final decision. So I'm waiting, but I'll tell you I'll find where they are with [inaudible 00:05:53].
Kathryn: We will look forward to that.
Michael: Now, do you know for sure if you're going to be on the East Coast or West Coast when you're filming? Or is that part of what's on the air?
James: East Coast. Yeah. East Coast. The West Coast is pretty much shut down for now. So the East Coast is where I'll be. Yeah. I will avail it to you guys.
Michael: Yeah. We can't even go to Disneyland, It's still shut down. Oh, gosh. And you all can go to Disney world.
Kathryn: I know. It's not fair.
James: Yes, I know.
Michael: Well, it's California.
James: No. It's Florida.
Kathryn: Yeah. We have great weather, but there's other issues. I don't know.
Michael: Okay. So when you talk about the CFO or the CEO of your life and thinking about that holistic part and that congruency at work, at home, the different parts of your life, is that something you grew up with, or did you always have that model?
James: It's interesting. My parents were pastors of the church. And to see what they purported and just how they interact in the world and then, at home, how they interacted. There was a congruency there. So I don't think it was anything that was an obvious in an overt teaching, but it was more of an example of what I watched, what I mirrored. And I think that really or I don't think I know that is what really inspired me and helped mold and shape me into the person I am today, is based off of what my parents did in that respect.
Kathryn: That's awesome.
James: So my parents, yeah, when it came to just communication, they have very effective communication, not only in the pulpit, but also at home. Their ability to prioritize, to set boundaries, all of that was really important. Because, well, some people may not know, but when someone's in the religious world or the pastoral world, I suppose, a lot of their congregation would want to call them at all hours of the day. So learning how to set those boundaries, this is my family time and this is my office time. Or this is the time you can call or you can leave a message and I will respond with a different time. I think for me, that was so important because not only as a business person but in my own life, and it's something I'm sure your listeners can also understand as well, is if we give out too much, then what do we have to give back to ourselves? And so for me, I learned how to set those boundaries, even when it comes to returning emails.
James: I have times of the day where I return my emails. So my life is very structured and ordered in a sense of I want to make sure my business thrives, but in order for my business to thrive, I have to thrive in my personal life. So the congruency of my spirit, mind and body, as we were talking about earlier, it must have a synergistic aspect. So if I'm thriving really well with my body, but my spiritual side or my mental side is struggling, well, then let me do more of the physical side to offset that. So therefore it all balances out the end. So whatever side you're struggling with, you want to make sure that you can come from a positive psychology standpoint and do more of that because then it automatically causes the other ones to thrive as well.
James: So that can be in anything as well. And when it comes to business, of course, there's different things we need to work on, but when we really focus on the one model, perhaps the one service that's doing really well, allow that to grow even more, then that creates a different culture within your employees. They become excited and they wanted then to be able to have the opportunity and the ability to come up with different answers to help with the other services that they have as well. That's how I look at things.
Michael: That's good. I like that. Since you grew up in a context like that, do you remember when you started as an adult, maybe that first time or those first few times where you started realizing that a lot of people didn't live their life like that?
James: It's interesting, with a lot of the patients that I had, I found, and also in my own life, I had a lot of... How do I say this? In my twenties, like all of us, I did a lot of things. And I found though that with all those accolades, all those different things, I wasn't really grounded. And so I found that most men, and I'm generalizing here, most men that I've worked with and that I know, don't really come into their ownership or into who they are, the strength of who they are, until they're about 30 years old. And that's really what happened to me at 30 years old, everything that happened in my life, it was just fluff, it with stuff, but it wasn't me.
James: And so when I turned 30, it's literally like all of a sudden things change. It all fell into place. And all of a sudden the integrity that I had, everything else just locked into place. And then from there is when everything just... It had more substance to it. It had more weight to it. And so with that, I took it more seriously. And for me, that's when everything started to grow. So if any of you have any children or perhaps you're in your thirties as well, then you may be realizing that there's some truth to that, but that age is pretty relevant for a lot of men.
Michael: Yeah. We've seen a lot of leadership development, a lot of coaching and working with folks and even as we reflected. I mean, we talk about, in the book even, what we call syndrome 27 where you're 27 years old, and you pretty much figured you have everything figured out. It's a male-
James: I can't learn anything else. I'm good. I got this.
Michael: I've got it. Everything's repetitive now. You're not teaching me anything new. I mean, you're lucky to have me type of thing. And then you start hitting that 30. Things do start shifting. The thirties seem to be such a pivotal place for... And I think men and women both because they're all dealing with similar things at some point where they're going, "Okay, well, how do I see myself other than a kid or a post kid, somebody else's child? I'm now a parent." Or. "I'm a peer. And my friends have kids." Or whatever. I love the thirties because I think for leadership development, the thirties are a phenomenal place where the growth just starts to explode.
Michael: And it just gets really good. And it gets really messy at times, but you get to learn, who are you, and what is this? I had a leadership coach who told me when you hit your forties, things will start to shift. As you turn 40 things will start to change. You start to look back now and you go, there's so much development that happens in your thirties because you really care. You're starting to really know who you are, and then you're starting to work into it, live into it. And then all of a sudden the forties happen. And I remember people going, they just started treating me like all of a sudden I was-
Kathryn: A real grownup.
Michael: ... a real grownup. I was going to say that.
Kathryn: I'm a real boy.
Michael: I'm a real grownup now. And it's interesting to watch as we as leaders are developing and to give ourselves permission to have the stages. Does that make sense?
James: Yeah. That's a really good point. Yeah, it really does. Yeah. I know for me, I've had people call me an expert or guru. And in fact, I was talking to my mom about this, who's my biggest fan and also my best friend. We were talking about the different things. When people call me those types of terms, I cringe from that because I may know some things, but to be put in a position or relabeled something, it then removes my humanity, it removes my fault. And I think that's one thing as leaders we often can be perceived. And even within ourself that we don't have any faults so that we won't make any mistakes. And if we do make mistakes, then we thought it through already, we already have the next response to it.
James: I think the struggle with many people is when we are in a leadership role or influencer your role, whatever you want to call it. There is a perception. And sometimes within ourself, we think we have to act a certain way, we have to be a certain thing. And I think that could be a real struggle with many people. I know I'm being a little tangential here, but-
James: ... I'm thinking more in that sense of to be in that position, if we aren't aware of our own struggles, or aren't aware of saying, "I am going to make mistakes." Me, James, who I am today, has made many mistakes. And I'm going to make many mistakes. So what I know today is great, but what I know the next half hour is going to be a little bit more. And so you will learn in each moment how to grow and develop. And I think the biggest thing when it comes to a leader is if you think a leader means that you are always going to be successful, always going to have the answer, always going to have this or that, unfortunately, you're setting yourself up to fall down from that pedestal. So I think that-
Kathryn: Well, you're also setting your people up too, right?
James: Exactly. Yeah.
Kathryn: Because then they're not allowed to fail. Because if you're not allowed to fail, they're not allowed to fail for sure.
James: Yeah. Now, as I go into the imposter syndrome, which we can talk about in a second, but I think it's really important to flesh out what does that word leader mean, or leadership mean? Because if someone has a slight different connotation of that word, or in other words, another slight difference in the meaning of that, then a leader may be perceived as someone who always has the answers, or a leader may be someone who surrounds themselves with people who have the answers. So you want to understand just the nuances of word choices. So when it comes to communication, is your communication effective or not? For example, if I use the word love, if I say "I'm in love with someone." If a 13 year old girl hears that, or a 75 year old man hears that, that concept of love, the connotation of it, is going to be different.
James: And so anytime you talk to your staff or talk to a peer, whomever else it may be, you really want to be mindful of the different word choices you use. So we want to look at micro-expressions of the person with whom you're speaking to see if there's a slight confusion. Or if you see that the response is a little bit off, then perhaps you want to return to what you said and ask if they need clarification or say, "Did you understand what I meant by that? Let me reframe that." And that's something just to be mindful of. So anytime we use a title of something, we want to make sure that people understand that. So I guess, talking lots of things here, but we really want to make sure that when we're in that leadership role, that we understand truly what that leadership means. So therefore everybody is on the same page and that they understand what that is. So we're all fallible, and that's the way I [inaudible 00:14:57].
Michael: Okay. Before we jump off to imposter syndrome because we're headed there, and people are going, "What the heck?" Two things, one, just to speak to what you were talking about. We call that fuzzy terms in our office. It's the same thing because it allows us to put a label on a lot of concepts so that people are always asking for greater understanding. But you use the term micro-expressions, I'm familiar with it, but I'm not sure all our listeners might be. What do you mean by micro-expressions?
James: Micro-expressions. Okay. I just did one. So micro-expression is a slight change to my facial automatic coding system. That's essentially when you look at your face, the different micro-movements of the musculature of your face will make different movements. So if I slightly squint or I can make a quizzical face of some sort. So it's a slight movement of one's face or one's body that is slightly different than the previous profile, a presentation that happened a second ago. So if you're talking to me and I'm very animated right now, if you see me in the video, but if you're talking to me, if you see there's a slight movement of my face, you want to and truly ask yourself what did that mean? So I said something, does that seem like it's an agreeable response? Or does it seem a little disagreeable? Does he seem confused?
James: And so it's going to be perception based off of the micro-expressions or slight movement of our body that gives us a tell to let us know if there's something going on with that person. And if there is, you want to clarify that because there's nothing worse than not recognizing the micro-expression, the person leaving and then there's a big fallout or something happened. And all of a sudden a situation that could have been remedied right away, unfortunately is not. So it's a slight movement of your face, of your body which gives a lot of details.
Michael: That's a really good description. I was wondering how well you would do that on a podcast. I'm like, "Okay, how's he going to deal with it?
James: I was a forensic evaluator in my practice as well. So [inaudible 00:16:41] trial. So the really cool thing is... This is a quick tell I'll explain to you. If you're talking to someone, you want to see if they're really struggling, you want to look at their feet. Their feet always give it away because from our waist up, we're consciously aware of how we present what we do. But the farther down away from our brain that our body goes, I suppose, we're not that much aware of it. So the feet always give a tell to see how the the person's lying or the person is being duplicitous in some way. So that was always my thing. So I guess I can't do that anymore, in fact, in my role. But I'd always make sure I could see the person's full body and I could read all the micro-expressions of what they're doing. So it's kind of fun but-
Kathryn: Yeah. A little harder on Zoom, huh?
James: Yeah. Exactly.
Kathryn: I'm like, "I am twirling my foot. What does that mean James? I don't know."
James: Thought so. Yeah.
Kathryn: That's hysterical.
Michael: No, I like that. Okay. So I think that's important. I mean, I love the micro-expressions, but it really requires you to be an active listener-
Kathryn: Yeah, to really pay attention.
Michael: ... because you're not just listening with your ears, you're listening with your eyes. And I really think that it's a huge chunk of a leadership's development of his inner game, her inner game and their emotional intelligence. Because you're realizing that to interact and engage and manage those relationships with somebody else, it requires more than just a tacit listening. It really does involve an engagement because there's so much that said when you... I mean, how many times have we asked the question, "Does that make sense?" And the word that comes out of their mouth is yes, but nothing else about them... Nothing about the tone means yes, nothing about their body language means yes. And if you're paying attention, as to your point, it's a real quick easy place to go. Will another example be helpful? Great. Let me do that. And then you can see their body oftentimes resolve into a place of peace, less tension. And also-
James: Yeah. [inaudible 00:18:37]. To piggyback off that. If I say to someone, "Well, how do you feel about that?" And they're not someone who really feels, but there's someone who thinks more linear or logical. They're not going to be able to put a feeling to that. So you want to listen. If people respond with a feeling or they respond with facts, then you know how to respond. So if I say, "What do you think about that?" Speaking to the person who is very logical, they will understand. "What are your thoughts about that?" They will give you their thoughts. But if you aren't aware of the thought process of that, thinking versus emotion, then unfortunately if you ask someone a question and they don't think that way or perceive something that way, it's harder for them, but then it puts them on the spot like, "I don't know how I feel about that." It's not really one who feels.
James: And then it creates more tension, which they then feel put on the spot and then whatever they were going to say now is all of a sudden skewed because now they have to come up with a feeling, but that's not what they really wanted to say. So the slight nuances of that as well are really important. One more quick factoid [inaudible 00:19:29]. Sorry I'm-
James: So someone who has a high IQ and that same person has maybe a lower EQ, versus a person who has a higher EQ and a lower IQ. So EQ is the emotional quotient, which is essentially their interpersonal ability to read the room, essentially. And then the IQ is one's intelligence. So if I have a really high... Or you guys have a really high IQ, and I have a really high EQ, if I'm going to talk to the person who has a higher IQ than myself, most people who have a higher IQ do not show the micro-expressions. You're not show anything externally. So a person who has a high EQ who tries to read that, can't read that. And so the person who has a higher EQ, all of a sudden says, "Gosh, I don't know what to do with this because usually I can read people and this person is so smart. And so I must be inferior. Something must be wrong with me."
James: And so you'll find that there's a disconnect. There actually 11 different metrics of intelligence. So IQ is one of the ones we measure, EQ is another one as well. And so the problem though is with the person who doesn't show a lot of the micro-expressions, the person who can read the room, who can't, all of a sudden creates this sense of inferiority, and they don't know what to do.
James: And then all of a sudden, the competence that they had in that meeting is lost. And so you really want to remind yourself, "If I'm talking to someone who has a really high IQ and doesn't really express a lot of micro-expressions or doesn't really show anything at all, I have to understand, 'Okay, that has nothing to do with me.' I need to now ask them more questions, to be able to make sure that we're on the same page because they're not going to show me, they're not going to give me any tells." And so you really want to understand the personality and the presentation of each person in your business. In other words, each of your employees. And how do they respond? How do they interact? Because someone will be more demonstrative, other people will not be. And so to not only understand the culture of your workplace, but also the individual expressions of the person will allow you to have such a really strong communication that there aren't going to be any of these miscommunications. And you'll have a really, really strong culture overall.
Michael: A good tip.
Kathryn: Well, and tell me if I'm wrong, James, about this, but it seems to me that if you're dealing with that person with a high IQ who isn't very expressive, then the other thing that you have to do, especially if you're an EQ person, is you have to learn to believe their words, right?
Kathryn: When their words don't come with some sense of conviction and emotion behind them for somebody who's an EQ person, it's like, "They said they're happy, but they don't look happy." And that's an interesting challenge too, for those of us that are... Because I'm more of the EQ, not as high of an IQ. I work with a lot of super smart people in my world, as well as in the people that we train and teach and coach. And so it is interesting to have to learn to be like, "I really need to hear your words and believe you even if your words don't make me feel warm and fuzzy, right?
James: That's true.
Kathryn: Because they're not said with a glowing whatever.
James: And I really appreciate you saying that because sometimes we don't have that, I guess, that secondary response to say, "Yes, I hear you. I see you. It makes sense to me." One thing you can also do is if you work with this person a little bit longer, you want to ask yourself, "They said this to me before, were they truthful? Was there a response? Did it workout? Yes, it did. Okay. So I know they did that. I can use previous data with my interaction with Anderson to confirm that yes, what they're saying is in fact true."
Kathryn: Yeah. Excellent. All right. We threw out the imposter thing.
Michael: Well, and I think we can tag off of what was just said, because one of the things you said, James, was in that context when somebody has a different modality of communication with you, especially in leadership, especially when you're dealing with leader on leader or something like that, you've gotta be okay with yourself. You've got to be comfortable enough with yourself. And because that whole thing can throw you off into, I don't know, an internal insecurity fit. And a lot of that comes out of this thing we keep throwing around, imposter syndrome.
Michael: But I haven't met a leader yet who at least late into the night, when nobody's around, there's a beer or whiskey or a glass of wine somewhere. And they're willing to be fully honest. I haven't met one yet that won't say, "Yeah, I struggle with this at times." While three hours earlier, they said they never have a problem and they always self-confidence and it's always perfect. But let's talk about this whole idea of from psychology and this imposter thing, let's name it. Let's talk about it. And then let's talk about, what's a healthy way to address it as a leader, especially as a senior leader? And how do we manage and grow through it?
James: Yeah, that's a great question. Well, piggybacking off of what I said earlier when I was talking about the concept of leader, when you understand the solidity of a leader, meaning the journey of a leader, it's a better way to say it. When you're in a leadership position, we think of it as boom, you're a leader, all of a sudden you're at the end results of what that leadership looks like. And so to really understand the growth of a leader, I guess that term cannot be a static. In other words, it's not one and done. There's a growth pattern there. And so if someone who's been a leader for 20 years versus someone who just started as a leader, at first, the person who just started automatically thinks they need to be at this 20-year experience-
Michael: So true.
James: ... so therefore that's what they are. And I think that's the discrepancy with a lot of leadership development struggles, I suppose, is that when someone's put in that position, there's not enough training to focus on the areas that you're not going to be good at. I know the areas that I'm not good at. I'm not good at responding to emails, a lot of things I'm not good at. And I'm okay with that. And so I surround myself with people who can do those sets of things. So I think as someone is in a leadership role, they really want to understand what they're good at and what they're not good at. The other aspect of it is, with the imposter syndrome, and for those of you who may or may not know, imposter syndrome is for people who are very successful, all of a sudden feel that they're a fraud or that if people found out just maybe this other thing, one more thing, then all of their success would be gone.
Kathryn: My brother used to describe it as, "Someone's going to walk into my office..." He's a senior pastor of a multi-thousand church place in Texas. "People are going to walk into my office and be like, 'You? Here? You need to get back to McDonald's where you're qualified.'" That's how he described it. Like, yeah...
James: It's true. I'll be honest. I often struggle with that as well. And so for me, like I said, we've all have done things in our life and I'm thinking, "Well, if they found out this one thing I did when I was however old..." Or whatever the, I guess, the random thought that comes to mind, all of a sudden it can defeat a person. So what I always tell people is if you have this imposter syndrome, it doesn't matter what level you are in life. You can always look at your past. Your past data is a wonderful example of who you truly are. So yes, we may have done things in the past, but what did I do the day before? So for me in my field, or another: psychology, radio, TV, whatever you want to say, I look at what did I do yesterday?
James: What was the physical data? So how do I conceptualize this? Or how do I quantify success from this previous thing that I just did? And when I can create metrics of what success looks like for each thing that I do, I then no longer have to feel if I am an imposter, I look back and said, "No, that was successful." So let's say if I use a Likert scale of one out of five, so if I feel like I was a four with this one, it was really good, and all of a sudden I feel like I'm an imposter, but that's a feeling. Feeling are not facts. And so when you can look at facts, that will always redirect you to what is true. The interesting thing is the word belief. So if I believe something to be true... The word belief, the antonym of that in the dictionary is actually truth.
James: It's funny, the opposite of the word belief in the dictionary is truth. So when we believe something, it's unfortunately not really true. So the way to really prove or disprove is to look at previous data, previous things you've done in the past to prove success. And so that then creates the foundation for who you are. So when you do have those imposter syndrome thoughts, and we all do, like you said, Michael, that is something that we can look at our past successes and past struggles, and to say, "All that today is who I am, all the great strengths, all the struggles I've had. And I like who I am today. I'm pretty effective overall." So that's how you go from a place of, "I'm an imposter." You look at the facts of what the success was, I guess add all that up together to say, "This is who I am today. Now, if I've done this much, now the next step is how do I take my previous data? And I've moved forward to say, 'Okay, I'm going to be even more successful in different ways.'"
James: But when it comes to metrics of success for a leader, you really want to define that as well. So like I said, there's a lot there to unpack, but when it comes to leadership, when you can conceptualize, how do you quantify the metrics of what a successful leader is? You can always use that previous data to then say, "Yes, I've met all those metrics." Or the majority of those metrics.
Kathryn: Okay. So that's super, super good. So I have a question for you. So I think one of the struggles-
Michael: You're getting set up now.
Kathryn: One of the struggles that I think leaders have is that we're pretty quick to compare ourselves with other leaders, right? So I will give you an example. I know that I'm doing well when I can be listening to... I'll use a podcast conversation between, I dunno, Brene Brown and Jim Collins who are incredibly smart, data-driven, brilliant human beings, right? So when I can listen to them and be like, "This is amazing." I know I'm in a good place. But when I'm not in a good place, I can be listening to them and being like, "I got nothing to contribute to the world. I mean, seriously, nobody needs my voice in this world of the podcast land because there's Brene Brown and there's Jim Collins and there's all these other... And there's James Miller and nobody needs this voice." Okay. So that kind of wrestle, how do you walk people through the comparison challenge that comes with even figuring out what your own metrics need to be versus measuring them against somebody else's metrics?
James: That's a great question. Yeah. I was asked to be a guest on a show. And so I told him what I would talk about and the person came back and said, "So I spoke with my business coach and they said, it'd be best that I not have someone on my show who's in the same field as me, who could take away my business." And I'm thinking, "What?"
James: I was [inaudible 00:29:28].
Kathryn: As it turns out there's only 10 fish in the sea, and so...
James: Because this person was actually on my show a long time ago. And so I made a concession to let this person on my show. And then, for me, it was funny because I didn't even know what to say. I was like, "Okay." All I said was okay. But the point is when we compare ourselves to other people, we always sudden think that, just like you said, there's not enough space for us in the world. So if I'm thinking that everyone's against me, or everyone's going to take my business, or everyone's going to take this from me, I can't compare that we're not actually carving out a niche, our own specific niche. Because the beauty of all of us is we have our own specific talents and which we all know. But the difference is that the way in which it's presented is your own marketing aspect of it. So for me, when I look at the world-
Kathryn: Preach it brother, preach it.
James: Yeah. Oh, I think I'm like, "Oh, it's Brene Brown. She's amazing." Or I think of this person here, I look at all those different aspects of them. And I say, "I love that. And I love the way that I think." For example, in this show, I have like a thousand thoughts right now, as you can hear. And I love that. However, that is specific to who I am. Other people are able to communicate more effectively than I am. So when we look at the different aspects of it, you want to say, these are great things. So when I conceptualize this, am I saying that they're my enemy, that they're my competitor? What are they?
James: If you had this adversarial concept that this person is against me or they're this or that, we're not thinking of it in the sense of, we all have different components that we work through to be able to help the world, to be able to help whatever our business is. So I look at myself when it comes to self-development. I look at myself at the beginning of the assembly line of self-development, meaning I just give people information. They can do with it what they will. So when you can understand where you fit in, I guess the assembly line of your business model, or your business practice, you want to say, "Okay, Well, Brene Brown is this person, or Jim Collin is this person, wherever they may be in that, but I'm over here. And so when you can learn to say that you have your own style, you also want to say, "And I'm still going to grow from that style."
James: So if we take how we're feeling today, and then we create what's called emotional forecasting. And what essentially means is how you feel right in the moment. If it's an unhealthy feeling, we take that emotional snapshot and forecast that to the future to say, "This is how my business is going to be. This is as many people that are going to listen to my podcasts." Whatever it might be. And unfortunately, that emotional snapshot with emotional forecasting creates this, "I will never be successful." So just because we have a thought does not mean that the thought is reality. So going back to the nuance of people may be great at different things, but in that assembly line of life, where would my specific business practice fit in? And when that happens, that becomes my niche, that becomes my expertise. And that is a way that you can really stand out.
James: Because I may know a lot of things, you may know a lot of things, but I'm not an expert at some of these things I may know. I can talk to you about certain things, but sure, I can have a great dialogue, but it doesn't mean I can do anything beyond that. So that's what you really want to say. What is your specific expertise that is only you? And when you can really hone in on that, you then become your own person. And pretty soon people when they hear you, whether it's someone just in your community or whomever else or whoever else, [inaudible 00:32:48] say, "Wow, they're amazing. I wish I could be like that." So it evolves. And so we're not going to be the expert at so many things, it's your business has to be specifically designed with a specific niche so that you become the expert in that. And that's where you stand up.
Michael: I think over the journey of just growing as a leader, being in my mid-fifties, early mid-fifties right now and-
Kathryn: He's looking at me because I'm having a birthday in about two weeks, and I'm going to be solid in my mid-fifties.
Michael: I was looking at you because you were my wife. It had nothing to do with the fact that-
Michael: ... you always get older before me.
James: [inaudible 00:33:23].
Michael: But there's probably two factors that, as we're talking, as I'm listening to you, I'm thinking about, one of them is as a young leader, I had a lot of people I respected. I wanted to be where they were. I wanted to have their influence. I wanted to have their authority. I wanted to have their checkbook, all kinds of those things. And I also saw them as... You were talking about the young leader, the one who starts and the one who's been at it 20, 30, 40 years, and they look like they've arrived. And they look like there's a destination that they've settled into. And part of what happened, for me, as I was thinking about this, as I was listening to your talk, I was thinking yeah, the more I got to know them and who they were as real people, and the fact that they had a mindset that said, "I'm still learning, I'm still growing." It gave me more freedom instead of the veneer of just seeing a leader out front, somebody off in the distance.
Michael: I got to know them more. And I got to realize, "Oh, that gives me more permission to not arrive and to be in the journey." Which actually made me a better leader, made me more self confident. And then I realized we had an event early on in our personal and professional life that we had one of our mentor leaders who we respected immensely, just had a major explosion. And what we realized was there was a lot of lies, and it just blew up. It blew up everywhere. It blew up his marriage, it blew up the relationship with his kids, we went into counseling-
Kathryn: Blew up our jobs.
Michael: ... for three years.
Kathryn: Just blew everything up.
James: Oh, I'm so sorry.
Michael: Well, and it was a life marking event. And we were in our late twenties when it happened. But it totally changed everything. We moved states and everything else and all that. And that was before we started our company, and all that. And we had two choices to navigate out of that. One was towards health, and one was towards bitterness. And we chose health by grace and with a lot of help and moved through that. But it holds in tandem for me, this idea that I get to know leaders that are healthy and growing, which gives me more freedom. But seeing somebody that we idolized and I held up so high fall and crush, is... Although I wouldn't wish that on anybody, and I wouldn't want to go through it again if we had to, it was another healthy data point for us of going, "This is the reality of us as leaders. We're not perfect. It can fall apart, and it can go well." And there's this dynamic. Does that make sense? I mean, you're talking-
Kathryn: Yeah, I know.
James: Yeah, it really does.
Kathryn: Well, and I would chime in, and we've used this phrase before but, one of the things that I think helps me remember, because it's so tangible to me, is that when we're doing that comparison, when we're looking at other people, we only see their front of stage, right? And so unless they happened to be people that we're actually connected to, but when we're seeing these amazing data, we see front of stage. Now you do get the rare person who actually talks about the behind the scenes. And that's just super fun that you get to hear that, but you still won't get to see it. And it's usually after they've solved it. Right? So even then-
James: It's true. Yeah.
Kathryn: Right? And even then, " And I'm amazing because I went through that and look where we are now." Right? So even that, it's like that whole, I see the front of stage, but there's this back of stage and everybody has a back of stage, right? Your company has a backstage, but you show the world the front stage because that's your job. You're supposed to be doing that.
Michael: Well, in your practice for 14 years, that was your job was to live with people in their back of stage, wasn't it?
James: Yeah. What's interesting though, to piggyback... I keep using that word piggyback. To speak more on what you were saying, I found that when I was in psychotherapy for so long, and then when I transitioned to radio, even how I would present with my guests or speak with my guests, it was nothing about James. Because for so long I created this boundary of I'm a psychotherapist, and so I'm going to interview you as I would talk to a patient. And I was not inauthentic, I just had a lot of boundaries. But I found over time, I guess I've been doing this now for six years, I've learnt to become more authentic or... I keep using that word. Be more-
Michael: Is vulnerable a fair word?
James: ... many boundaries. Yeah. Thank you for giving me that word. Yeah. More vulnerable. And I'm just sharing more of my own life. And so it's been rewarding for me. And I do have at times, I'm thinking, "Gosh, what if a random patient from before has heard this? What would they think?" And it's funny to me the juxtaposition between then versus now I'm the same person, but it's just the presentation is slightly different. But, Kathryn, I wanted to say that when we were speaking about you see the front of stage, I can remember when I first started, I was like, "I know what I want to do, but I'm not really sure." And so I started it and I would lay awake at night and because I gave up my practice and all this, I'm like, "I'm going to do this." And then I'm looking at my bank account. I'm like, "Okay, well I have enough for this amount of time. What am I going to do?"
James: And I would lay awake at night, and I would get so worried. And I'm like, "Okay, what do I do about this? What do I do about that? What happens if people find out about this? I had all these successful things up there, I don't now. Does that matter to me? Not really. So what does matter?" And it widdled through my mind of what truly made sense. And so what I did was I got rid of a fancy car, bought a car I would never ever buy, just because it wasn't my style. And I had that car for a year and a half and I just went to decouple what people perceive as success. So that that's not what was success for me. So like I said, I got rid of things and bought things I would not have bought before. So that was my way of kind of transitioning to be James.
James: James is what you see, I'm wearing a t-shirt right now. And so for me, that's just who I am, a jeans t-shirt type of guy who looks at success from hard work, looks from success of looking at what didn't work and how to reframe it and twist it into a way that it does work. And to me that's really the pinnacle of what a successful person would be or a successful leader is. So to wrap all that up to say, yes, we see people on the back end of something or the front end of something, excuse me, but we don't think about those hands when they lay awake at night, when they struggle, when they're not sure what they're going to do. And so just know that even today where they may be, there's still a lot more behind the scenes that you don't know, then 20 years from now, you're going to hear another story of when they went through something.
James: So just because we think of a leader, they've been in there 20, 30 years, it doesn't mean that they've stopped evolving. Now unfortunately, some leaders think that, like we said earlier, that they have all the answers and they don't develop more. They don't have a mentor. They don't have someone that they can bounce ideas off of. So sometimes as leaders, we become stagnant to think, "Yes, I've done so much, and I'm an expert in my field." Or, "I'm this." Or, "I'm that." And then we get locked in that place. And so newer ideas or perhaps new modalities or new things that are happening are brought to us. And then we stick with that, like, "I know what I'm doing." But think of Blockbuster. For those of you who remember Blockbuster, you could go rent movies there.
James: And there was a small little startup company that came to them and said, "We have this wonderful opportunity to stream videos. Would you like to partner with us?" And they said no. Blockbuster went out of business and Netflix is now Netflix. So that was a great response. And I think of that, like how am I current? How am I growing? So when I reflected on that person who said that I would be a competitor for this person. I'd like to think, how can I help people just add a conversation? How can I talk with you amazing people? And we've bounced ideas off each other. And that excites me. So when we think of someone, or another company, or another leader as a competitor, sure, they may be in the market, but it's not competition when it comes to the leadership itself.
James: It's how do I grow? What are the different micro-expressions that you can teach me, that I can know that perhaps I'm showing something that's incongruent with what I'm really trying to say? Or how do you deal with certain types of individuals? And so as a leader, as you talk to your peers, allowing yourself to be more vulnerable, to just ask questions. It doesn't mean you have to go into the full context of it. But just asking questions allows for you to get a slightly different perception. You think of a diamond, a diamond has so many facets to it. And that's just like any situation or any problem. You twist that diamond a little bit and you see a different facet. So every leader is going to have a different way in which they look at or conceptualize a situation. And it's just a different facet. So to ask questions allows you to see more facets, and the more facets you have, I guess the bigger diamond you have. I don't know. I just made it up. But-
Kathryn: The more sparkly you are.
James: ... you understand more about it.
Kathryn: Yeah. That's good. Really. No, that's good.
James: Anyway, that's one of my thoughts.
Michael: James, thank you so much for joining us today. This has been a great conversation.
Kathryn: Really fantastic.
Michael: I've had three thoughts in total random tracks that I wanted to go into and I thought, "No. I'm going to keep it straight today. I'm going to keep it focused. We'll talk about something else another day, maybe." How do people get ahold of you? How do they find out more about you and listen to more of what's going on?
James: Oh, thank you. First off. Thank you both so much for having me be a guest on your show. I've had so much fun. It's been a long time since I've had this type of dialogue. So thank you both for that. If people want to find more [inaudible 00:42:09] about me, they can simply go to jamesmillerlifeology.com and they can find out all the information about me as well.
Michael: I'm looking forward to seeing-
Kathryn: Jamesmillerlifeology.com. I apologize.
Michael: And it's not James S., right? You got rid of the S after the albums.
James: No, it's funny because so James Miller is so common that I was like, "Well, how do I stand out?" So I use my middle initial James S. Miller. So for music, for my albums, it's James S. Miller and then for everything else it's James Miller. And so I have lifeology.tv which is the TV iteration that's coming out, but that's not fully working.
Kathryn: Well, we totally understand the middle initial thing. We have to use Michael K. Redman because otherwise-
James: I saw. Yeah.
Kathryn: ... to get found on the internet. The person who gets found on the internet most is a guy who used to be a singer for Lawrence Welk. So we differentiate him with Michael K Redman because otherwise he's just an old singer from Lawrence Welk.
James: Yeah, I read about that, when I saw I was like, "Michael K..." I'm wondering what the type of he personality is. And so I was going through my mind to find what that would mean without an extra initial, but I guess I did it as well.
Michael: As soon as I did it, one of our friends, he looks at me, he goes, "You're not a middle initial kind of guy." And I'm like, "I am on search. I have to be."
Kathryn: That's so funny.
James: It makes perfect sense now.
Kathryn: Yeah, totally.
Michael: And my really, really, really close friends, there's like five of them that will refer to me as Mikey. And the person who's trying to be my friend, who tries to call me Mikey, who is not in the inner circle, It's like, "Dude, don't. Stop trying that."
Kathryn: "Don't say that."
James: I was Jimmy for so long. And now when I hear it, it jars me. I'm like, "What?" And only a few of my family members still call me that from years... But as a little boy, I was always Jimmy-
Kathryn: Well, and I was Kathy.
Michael: We were Mike and Kathy when we got married.
Kathryn: We were Mike and Kathy when we got married. We were actually Mike and Kathy. Now it's just like, "What?"
James: Wow, yeah. Absolutely.
Michael: We're all growing up like, "I want to be a big person." Hey, thank you again, folks.
James: My pleasure.
Michael: Please check out James. There's a lot of great stuff James does. And he's a lot of fun to talk to. And this is the second of hopefully many conversations we'll have with him. So hopefully someday we'll have him back on our podcast because I... So I don't know if you're into this, you can tell me in front of all my listeners this is a dumb idea.
Michael: I want to do a series of podcasts of those of us that were raised by leaders, and strong leaders, and how that impacted our lives as leaders.
James: I like that.
Kathryn: Yeah, that could be fun.
Michael: What do you think?
Kathryn: Because by the way we're both PKs.
James: I remember that. You told me. You are too Michael?
Michael: Oh yeah. My dad was a worship leader for years.
James: Oh, Interesting to know.
Michael: And then he was a business guy in the community too. So he was that Pied Piper guy.
Kathryn: Yeah. Mine was a pastor and a nurse. So there's a bunch of going on there. But yeah, we were both raised by very strong-
Kathryn: ... religious leaders.
James: That is really cool. And yeah, that's why we connect so well.
Michael: I mean, I don't need to refine us to the church. We don't all have to be pseudo PKs or anything like this, but I just was thinking, how interesting would this be to do this whole concept of if we were raised by leaders, I mean, it's a small group of us anyway. And then those of us that became leaders out of it. And how did our parents influence our life positively, negatively? What are the things we've wanted to emulate? What are the things we wanted to change? How has that shaped us, and how has it changed our journey? And how has it been? Literally shoulders for us to stand on. And what are the different stories that come out of that? What do you think?
Kathryn: Going to be fun.
James: Yeah. I think that'd a be great season to do that. Just to piggy back off that... I keep using that word.
Kathryn: Yeah it's a [inaudible 00:45:48] word.
James: The whole thing is but I think also-
Kathryn: We're going to call this the piggy back episode.
James: ... when you can understand everyone is a leader in a lot of ways. So a lot of people may think, "Well, maybe my parent wasn't officially a leader." But that's something to consider as well because I think it broadens up the spectrum of more people have a leadership or they're children of leaders than they realized.
Kathryn: Yeah. Well, and we have a really good friend who would say that leadership is not position, it's influence, right? So-
Michael: But I do you think and I believe there's a lot of truth to that, but then I come at it from the... There are certain dynamics that happen when a lot of people know who your parents are and you're growing up under them.
James: Yeah, that's a good point.
Kathryn: Yeah. They're the ones standing in front of-
James: Especially in the church.
Kathryn: ... doing something, especially in the church.
James: Especially in the church. Yeah. We can talk about that later.
Michael: Yeah. And in smaller towns. Bigger cities it's not as much unless your family is very engaged in a social circle. I was out with one of our clients, a guy that works for one of our clients yesterday. I was out with Parker. And we were doing a tour. Because of our agency, we were working with all the signage on this large professional complex, and we're changing it all. So we're having this walk. Well, from the moment we started, we start walking down the sidewalk and within a hundred yards, four cars went by and honked at me and waved. And he's looking at me like, "What is.." And I wasn't even thinking, I would just wave at people as they went by and I'd recognize people. And then when we got to the edge of the property, Darren, FedEx Darren, that used to go to our church, was standing there outside his FedEx box on the sidewalk with his arms open, ready to hug me.
Michael: And this guy's looking at me like, "Who are you? And do you know everybody in town?" And it happened three more times as we walked around. We even ran into one of the kids that our daughter went to junior high with. And she stopped to say hi and-
Kathryn: And we are not a town of like 12,000.
Michael: It's 120,000 people.
Kathryn: We're a town of 120,000.
Michael: But it's that what happens when I had to look at him and were like, I couldn't go anywhere in this town growing up because so many people knew my parents that if I got in trouble, if Mrs. Johnson saw me doing something I shouldn't be doing, she was going to call mom before I got home. And it was that kind of stuff.
James: I remember that when... And I know we have to end the show, but I remember when I was younger as well the same thing. We'll talk about this offline. It's fine.
Michael: Okay. So are you game for that?
James: Yes. I would be up for that. Yes. I'm already thinking about different ideas. Yeah.
Kathryn: All right.
Michael: All right. Excellent. Folks, thank you for joining us today. Thank you for listening to our rabbit hole and our tangents and our piggybacking.
Kathryn: And our piggybacking. Lots of piggyback.
James: [inaudible 00:48:17].
Kathryn: And we just hope that you all have a great week. Think about your leadership. Go away from today thinking about where are you confident in? How can you grow in a genuine acceptance of who you are? And then allow yourself to also be seen somewhat by younger leaders and continue to bring them along. We want to see that tandem growth. And I want to see if you can just really integrate that more into your week. And if you need more resources, reach out for help. Great leadership coaching is a phenomenal tool if you're going to grow your inner game and your outer game and grow your company so you have more profit, purpose and legacy. Thanks for joining us. I'm Michael Redmond.
James: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Kathryn: Have a great day.