020: Dedication to Finding Purpose Transforms Lives with Dr. Jason Brooks

By on August 28, 2018

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Recognized as one of the most prominent emerging voices in personal and organizational transformation, Dr. Jason is also likely to be one of the most authentic, transparent and “real”. His life mission of changing lives and growing leaders provides the foundation and focus where his purpose and passion are fully unleashed.

Dr. Jason has almost 25 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in multi-million and multi-billion dollar Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 organizations in multiple industries (including Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Accenture, Gap, Inc., Hunt Brothers Pizza, Addiction Campuses, SmithKlein Beecham, Gaylord Entertainment Company, Emerson Electric Company, and American Addiction Centers). He is an expert in leading personal and organizational transformation of all kinds. He is founder and CEO of The Catalyst Leadership Group, a leadership solutions firm focused on growing leaders from the “inside-out” and helping them to unleash their full potential to deliver high-impact results through their work and leave a legacy of success and significance in life.

As a bestselling author, speaker, entrepreneur and executive, leadership consultant, executive coach and co-host of the Step into Leadership Podcast, he brings a heart for helping leaders of all kinds achieve their greatest potential, one step at a time.

Dr. Jason has earned the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in psychology, Master of Business Administration, MS in mental health counseling, and BS in management. He is a Certified Executive Coach, Board Certified Coach with specialty designations as Executive/Leadership/Corporate/Business/Career Coach, Senior Professional in Human Resources and National Certified Counselor.

Dr. Jason lives just north of Nashville, Tennessee with his bride, Darla and three wonderful children, two sons and a daughter.

Key Points from the Episode with Dr. Jason Brooks

  • Dr. Jason Brooks is focused on two major themes in his life – he changes lives and grows leaders. He sees that as his calling, and how he’s placed every day is how he delivers on that.
  • He is the Chief People Officer for Addiction Campuses, which has facilities across the country to help people overcome addictions, and he’s charged with developing leadership of the organization so they can be a crucial part of transforming the lives of those seeking help.
  • He also has several consulting practices focusing on leadership development for people across all different kinds of backgrounds, which is where he and I met through the podcast he does within that work.
  • When you are operating at the center of your passion and really making a difference in the world in alignment with your values and the center of your passion, it doesn’t feel like work no matter how hard you are working.
  • So many people go into their day with a sense of drudgery on their faces. That what he tries to help people break through and ignite opportunity and find their passion. That’s how we maximize potential in ourselves.
  • When we’ve been in a rut for a long time, we get to a place where we often feel comfortable where we are and don’t spend the energy on breaking out. We are resigned to continue on. He shared a quote he once heard about ruts, “A rut is nothing more than a grave with no end.”
  • He was the first born in his family, and that set the stage for a responsibility and burden as the first born to achieving and the pressure of taking care of the family and living up to parental standards. As he achieved, the judgment always came that he was expected to achieve, so rather than celebrating what he reached, it was almost not valued. When he shared his interests (namely, in music), he was dissuaded from pursuing it because it wasn’t good enough, and needed to go back to something more grounded economically (e.g. accounting).
  • Through pursuing the path he was “supposed to” he kept feeling an emptiness and boredom. He would get into a new job, do well and improve things, and then get bored and leave for the next job.
  • The question was whether he was never satisfied (and couldn’t be), or whether he wasn’t able to use the creativity he was so longing to use. It turned out to be the latter, and that’s the path he pursued as his career progressed by taking the initiative to go on the journey and face the challenges to grow.
  • He realized he wanted to more than just “the right thing” and do something that would impact people’s lives, and went on to get a masters, an MBA and a doctorate over the course of seven years while also working full time.
  • Through a very intense process in which he pushed himself so hard, he finally found the value in himself and not simply because of the sense of obligation to someone else (such as his father). So now, he performs not because of obligation to the outside world, but because of a sense of his own capability and self-worth.
  • When you position yourself to let that inner part of who you are come out, that’s where the fullness of who you are and the impact you can make really gets to shine.
  • He shares the five values of a high impact leader: 1. Character, 2. Growth, 3. Relationships, 4. Results and 5. Vision.
  • Leadership is not just organizational leadership, it’s about leading your life. It’s about influence for yourself and for those around you. This mirrors the discussion Aaron Keith Hawkins and I had in episode 15 of the show.
  • Through our struggles, we learn and grow, and become better able to help others. Dr. Brooks shared some of his struggles, such as having to borrow money from his parents as a 40-something adjust to pay his mortgage and save his home, which taught him a lot about humility and stability, which he brings to his work today. It was also a break in the standard he’s had to live up to as the first born who never fails.
  • We can fall into the trap of comparison, which is the first step toward jealousy, then pride and then arrogance, which can all unravel us and be anchors in our lives that can hold us back from living a life as we truly can every day.
  • In looking back at some of his biggest professional struggles or failures, he realizes it wasn’t about what he was going to do, but rather points to focus on who you are going to be. It’s not in the ‘what’, it’s in the ‘who’.
  • You never learn as much as when you teach. When you find the growth in yourself, help other people on their path, and you will find yourself growing and learning in ways you wouldn’t have before, and often may find yourself growing more through teaching than when learning and perhaps more than the person you’re helping may get.
  • When you stretch yourself and stumble and fall, you have two choices. It can either be a prison or it can be a school. You can feel trapped and can’t break through, or you can learn from it, grow and move ahead. Seeing it as a school and not a prison is your choice, so don’t choose to make failure final.

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