Jamaal Johnston – Rockstars of Accountability | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Dr. Johnston is the Chief Leadership Grower at LGRC, an organization that specializes in growing leaders through coaching.

As a leadership coach, he works with individuals and organizations to increase leadership effectiveness. Dr. Johnston is recognized as an up-and-coming training and developing professional and a student of leadership.

Jamaal’s approach to coaching and leadership is very well-represented by this excerpt from his LinkedIn profile:

“People have ideas of what leadership looks like. But real leadership rarely matches the images we have in our minds. Leadership is more than just standing on the bow of a rowboat crossing the Delaware River. Leadership is more than giving a speech on horseback while wearing blue face paint. Leadership is more than telling a crowd you have a dream from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Big moments spent leading on big stages are built by countless smaller moments leading in the trenches. Real leadership is about standards of thinking and the synthesis of multiple perspectives.”

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Kevin Stafford 0:01
Hello and welcome to another episode of the coffee with coaches podcast. I’m your host, Kevin, and today I have with me Jamal Johnston. Dr. Johnston is the chief leadership grower at LG RC, an organization that specializes in growing leaders through coaching. As a leadership coach, he works with individuals and organizations to increase leadership effectiveness. Dr. Johnston is recognized as an up and coming training and developing professional and a student always of leadership. Jamal, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for being here today.

Jamaal Johnston 0:29
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Kevin Stafford 0:32
Let’s begin at the beginning. I like to sometimes cheekily refer to this as your superhero origin story. How did you how did you discover and become a coach? Like what was your? What was that moment that you realize that maybe you were a coach or that you wanted to be a coach? And then how did you go from there to start a coaching practice?

Jamaal Johnston 0:53
I guess professionally, I was doing some, I call it mentoring with a nonprofit. And we had a custom program where we’re working with some young men, we’re introducing them to, you know, leadership, professional development, financial literacy, and things like that. So as that program has grown, develop, I started to focus a little bit more on coaching. And my first professional coaching training, I looked at some of the information and I was like, You know what, that looks familiar. And I’m doing most of that already. So my years of me doing what I call mentoring ended up me being coaching. And once I said, Hey, this is in line with what I’m already doing. And I kind of started to progress and do more and more of it.

Kevin Stafford 1:41
It’s lovely, there’s so it’s so it’s funny, because we have very often as we talk about coaching and coaches and their experience, it’s, it’s there’s so much I think, in my head, I see like this Venn diagram of very tightly interlocking circles, where they’re almost like, like, almost like an eclipse, but not quite a more like maybe an Olympic symbol where it’s just these rings, like mentorship, and consulting and leadership development and coaching and like how it’s all like, it’s all definitely interlocked, but there’s different, it just kind of manifests itself in different ways and takes place different roles in people’s lives, right?

Jamaal Johnston 2:11
Yep, absolutely.

Kevin Stafford 2:14
It’s pretty powerful. I kind of I kind of love it, it’s, I find that I find that discussing coaching, we ended up very quickly talking about all manner of just growing as human beings.

Jamaal Johnston 2:25
That’s one of my favorite topics, leadership and growth.

Kevin Stafford 2:29
Let’s talk about let’s talk about what your what you’re doing right now, in leadership and growth. And I like to I like to ask this question in a pretty sort of like, who, what, when, where, why sort of way? Who do you coach primarily these days? And how do you coach them? Now? Do you have like a particular kind of person that you focus on for your leadership coaching, like entrepreneurs, maybe leaders in the community and their family and the church anywhere, necessarily? And then how do you coach them? Do you primarily work one on one? Do you have also maybe some small group coaching? Or like some mastermind style coaching groups? Do you have like, you know, keynote speeches that you do here? And there? Do you have, like, you know, books that you write all of the above? I know that coaching tends to go down many, many roads. So yeah, who do you coach? And how do you coach them?

Jamaal Johnston 3:11
Well, for me, I think it’s, it’s pretty simple. I deal with what I call the middle managers. And recently, a lot of my middle managers have kind of been in transition. And I’m not sure if that’s due to the great recession, or just, you know, other opportunities. And I kind of like to joke and say, you know, I coach rock stars, my clientele are people that are relatively successful, and they’re doing well, at, you know, what they’re doing. So when I presented the people there said, Well, if they’re already doing well, and they’re rock stars, why did they need you? So the kicker is, we help our clients move further faster. Yep. So that’s part of part of the coaching experience with us. And I do I do mainly one on one. Now, every now and then I’ll get an opportunity to do some some group coaching, but it’s mainly one on one. So that’s kind of where I’m currently dipping my toes in the coaching pool.

Kevin Stafford 4:08
Okay, yeah, it’s really, I find that no matter what, what form of coaching takes no matter what’s, you know, what scale or size small groups, meeting groups like huge audiences or whatever, it’s really all of it tries to replicate that feeling that power of the one to one coaching relationship, because there’s really, there’s just so much I’ve heard, I’ve heard a number of terms from a number of coaches excavation is one that I really like, there’s so much there’s so much on earthing and there’s so much guidance, guidance is another big one. I know a number of coaches think of themselves as like Sherpas, almost where it’s like, you know, it’s not going to I’m not going to hike the mountain for you. But I am going to be able to show you what path to take where to step where not to step but it’s going to be you and us together, finding your inner strength that allows you to not just, you know, stay at base camp or get to a certain height and stop there and be like, Oh, I think I’m good here but to push forward and go on to that next level that I feel like more and more people are seeking these days.

Jamaal Johnston 4:59
Yeah, and Again, it might just because of the time we’re in, but when you have, especially when we’re talking to new clients, and we introduced them to coaching, and it’s like, hey part of this in and you know, kind of my style, I like to keep things as simple as possible, you know, when people are talking about, hey, you know, what is the coach do when we’re kind of going through that conversation, it’s like, part of my job as a coach is to facilitate you getting to the best you. And that’s kind of the journey. And that’s, that’s kind of on the walk. And just like you said, it’s kind of, you know, a guy type relationship and a facilitator type relationship, because ultimately, you know, our clients are the coaches, they are doing 90, High 90% of the work.

Kevin Stafford 5:46
That’s another great word that I hear so often facilitate facilitation, it’s just, it’s, you participate in the process that and again, it’s like, and that’s another thing, too, that I think a lot of people will sometimes think that a lot of people but no, some people will come to a coaching relationship, they, they’re looking for help. And there’s that moment where they realize that they don’t need help doing the work, they can do the work. And in fact, they need to do the work, they just need a little bit of guidance to get there, and that the strength they need is already waiting there in them, like they can do the work that needs to be done, they just need a little bit of help, not maybe as much as they think. But they just need that, again, that facilitation, that catalyst to help them spark up to the to whatever their next level is gonna look like. And it’s different for everybody too, I find that it’s pretty powerful how the, the, the feeling and the process of that Leveling up is very, it’s very similar. It’s very humans very, like foundational, basic, but each person has it in their own specific ways. Do you find that to be true as well?

Jamaal Johnston 6:42
Yeah, absolutely. And some some of the clients that I’ve dealt with, you know, they, like I say, they’re highly productive people, I call them my rockstars. And, and some of them just need that accountability. You know, they have everything, all the tools they need to do it. And they just need somebody to say, Hey, Kevin, you said you were gonna do X, Y, and Z by last week? Did you do that. And that’s, that’s as simple and as basic as part of that relationship is just, Hey, I just need that accountability sometimes, just to get me to that next

Kevin Stafford 7:16
point. I like in my, in my head, I’m thinking about the rock stars of accountability, as a terrible band name, but a fantastic concept.

Jamaal Johnston 7:26
I tried to use that some of my content, so I gotta beat you to putting it out. I gotta get it up before you do.

Kevin Stafford 7:32
Do it, take it run with it. Every once in a while, I’ll say something somewhat smart. And I’m more than happy just to have it get out into the world. I’m care rockstars. theater near you? Where can where can people learn more about you personally, as a coach, but also learn more about your organization learn more about what you do? And that kind of like, this is another two parter ish questions. I know, there’s obviously the website where you go and just to find out more information. But I also like to ask the second part is where do you like for people to come and meet you and engage with you? Do you have a preferred social media that you would like to spend time on and make connections on? Or is there just any, any way that you’d like to engage with people for the first time?

Jamaal Johnston 8:15
Yep. So first part is easy. And that’s going to be the organization website, which is of course, you know, the www stuff. LG RC V A ‘s in virginia.org, where they can kind of hit the website and kind of come across all of the information and all of the nuts and bolts about the organization. Now for me and some more in depth information about the organization, my go to social media platform is LinkedIn, I kind of kind of falling in love with LinkedIn, and I’m putting all of my content through LinkedIn primarily. Then some of it we filter into through Twitter. So main place to find me is Jamar, Justin, you may prefer me because I’m only Jamal Johnson associated with LG RC on LinkedIn. And also you can follow us as organization on LinkedIn as well. So that’s kind of my happy place for right now. LinkedIn.

Kevin Stafford 9:08
It really is isn’t it I love that you the way you expressed it. I’ve fallen in love with LinkedIn. It’s like it’s me too. Like it’s I never like for years I thought of LinkedIn is just you know, resume platform you know, it’s I used to joke about it being for an end this was a terrible like an off color joke but like for people with phone holsters back when that used to be a thing. Like it’s just a poke fun at it. But then I got to really understand how powerful the platform is for just discovery and building relationships and like you also mentioned Twitter which I have a maybe a love hate relationship with it can use it with very much care because it can very easily veer off into some just toxic places. But LinkedIn Of course all social media has that as like a possibility but I find that LinkedIn it really i I am kind of in the midst of a love affair with it. I have to say

Jamaal Johnston 9:57
my relationship and I kind of joke my relations LinkedIn kind of started with LinkedIn just being my rolodex. It’s like, hey, I can No, this is where I can have my people at the fingertips. And if I connect with you or put your information, then I always have it. And it’s just kind of grown from there. So I mean, it’s, it’s kind of kind of amazing. And just just the opportunity of networking and reaching out with millions, I guess. I mean, some people at this point is amazing.

Kevin Stafford 10:24
I mean, we, if we didn’t love connecting, I don’t think we would do what we do.

Jamaal Johnston 10:29
How about that?

Kevin Stafford 10:31
Jamal, thank you so much for talking with me today. Like I know, we’d like to keep it short and sweet, or anything you want to add? Before we go?

Jamaal Johnston 10:37
No, Kevin, that’s, that’s about it. I know, one of the things that, um, that we like to do with with our leadership, training and coaching, you know, we kind of approach it a little bit different, you know, we have a big component of research and what we do, but we’re not doing research, in order to come up with anything new and groundbreaking, you know, our research is in, you know, existing bodies of knowledge. And we just try to make leadership and coaching as practical as possible. So we’re looking to take some of the more theoretical stuff and make it every day.

Kevin Stafford 11:10
Awesome, powerful, too. And it’s not always the case like things that things that seem complicated at first, maybe they are at first, but then you learn a little bit more about them, you start to talk to people about them, you start to apply them. And all of a sudden, it starts to make a little bit more sense. And then it starts to make a lot more sense. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it?

Jamaal Johnston 11:27

Kevin Stafford 11:29
Well, Jamal, thank you again for being here. It’s it’s been great to talk to you. I could I could have just we could have done this for a while. I love the shortness of this podcast. It’s perfect for for everybody for the listener and for the guests. But I just I’m always I always end feeling like greedy. Like, I want to keep you around for a while. But thank you for sharing some time with me today. I really appreciate it.

Jamaal Johnston 11:46
No worries ever. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Kevin Stafford 11:49
And thank you to the audience for listening. Reach out find out more about Jamal. He’s fantastic. And we’ll talk to you again soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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