With featured guest

Jamaal Johnston

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Jamaal Johnston | The Remarkable Coach | Boxer Media

Jamaal Johnston helps his clients start new businesses and become better leaders.

In this episode of The Remarkable Coach Podcast, Micheal and Jamaal discuss practicality in coaching and why accountability is so crucial to personal and professional success.

A bit about Jamaal:

Dr. Jamaal Johnston is the Chief Leader Grower at the Leadership Growth & Research Center, an organization that specializes in growing leaders through training and coaching. As a leadership trainer, coach, and speaker, Dr. Johnston works with individuals and organizations to increase leadership effectiveness.

Where you can find Jamaal:

Website: https://www.lgrcva.org/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamaaljohnston/

Other links:


Portable Coach

JumpStart Your Growth

Great Leaders ask Great Questions

Failing Forward

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Micheal Pacheco 0:06
All right. Hey everybody. Welcome once again to another episode of the remarkable coach podcast as always, I’m your host, Michael Pacheco. And today with me I have Jamal Johnston. Jamal is the Chief Leader grower at the leadership growth and Research Center, an organization that specializes in growing leaders through training and coaching. As a leadership trainer, coach and speaker, Dr. Johnson works with individuals and organizations to increase leadership effectiveness. Jamal, welcome to the remarkable coach.

Jamaal Johnston 0:36
Thank you, sir. Thanks for having me.

Micheal Pacheco 0:38
It’s alright, if I call you Jamal, or should we should we do Dr. Johnson?

Jamaal Johnston 0:41
Jamaal is fine, informal is cool.

Micheal Pacheco 0:47
Beautiful, I appreciate I appreciate that Jamal. Yeah, man, as always on this on this podcast, I kind of like to just open things up by inviting our guests to tell us a little bit more about yourself in your own words, and what got you into coaching?

Jamaal Johnston 1:03
All right, well, um, I’ve been in the leadership development space for probably about 10 years now. And my first coaching experience actually started out as a mentoring experience with a youth organization. I thought I was doing mentoring. But it turned out that I was kind of doing coaching. Once I got into the professional coaching space and learned a little bit more about the process of coaching, I was like, Hey, man, I’ve been doing this for five, six years. And now I can kind of get get the swing of it found us had some success with the youth, as I figured that we would be able to put it in place to kind of expand and expand the offering. And that kind of got me to the professional space now.

Micheal Pacheco 1:42
Nice. That’s awesome. And tell us a little bit more, a little bit more about your clients who, who isn’t you work with what who is your ideal client.

Jamaal Johnston 1:51
But, of course, it’s a marketing nightmare, I’d say I say everyone, but actually, what we’re focusing on now is the middle managers, we’re looking at those been in the game for a while, they’re very good at what they do, and they’re in a position and make that next week. So those are the people that we’re kind of keying in on and kind of helping them to get from where they are to where they want to be in their professional space. And also personally, because making that move sometimes comes with a few different life life challenges as well.

Micheal Pacheco 2:21
Awesome. Middle managers in what type of companies like smaller, you know, smaller businesses, and how many people in the organization,

Jamaal Johnston 2:29
small and medium business, we haven’t done anything on, you know, large, large organizations yet. So typically, you know, smaller organizations to medium size companies. It’s kind of where we’re at niches now,

Micheal Pacheco 2:43
to give us kind of an idea. So I one thing I’ve kind of noticed in in my conversations with coaches and business leaders over the years is that one person’s idea of a small business is very different than another person’s. And I know that the Small Business Administration, I believe their definition of small businesses, anything under 7 million a year. So when in terms of headcount size, what is small business for you?

Jamaal Johnston 3:07
Well, as we’re looking at a few 100, so it’s probably between three and five. And we do have some medium organizations, and I’m calling that you know, anything over five, you get to seven and eight, that’s about medium. So we’re right. In that range.

Micheal Pacheco 3:22
Yeah, that tracks Okay. Well, first of all, I want to, I want to applaud you for not saying that everybody is your ideal client, narrowing that down to middle management. I know, I know, from experience, and from working with dozens and dozens of coaches, that it can feel like cutting your legs off at the knees, to say, I’m not going to work with these people, because you want to be open to doing that. Right. So good for you for narrowing that down. And how, how do you market yourself these days? Where do you get your clients? And how do you market yourself?

Jamaal Johnston 4:01
A lot of it is word of mouth. And actually through the organization, we do a lot of training, leadership training, leadership development, and just kind of through the interaction with the different clients that come through, it’s like, hey, we also do coaching. So between the leadership training and some of the other coaching clients that I have, personally do the referrals. Um, those are my main two avenues of bringing new clients and leadership training and word of mouth to existing and previous clients.

Micheal Pacheco 4:29
Right on, what does a typical engagement with you look like?

Jamaal Johnston 4:35
In our engagement, typically, and it’s basically we just figure out where the client is what they want to work work on. So we kind of start off with the agenda to kind of get what they’re looking at as far as different obstacles and then come up with the action plan. So I’ve tried to keep it very basic, very simple. I want my clients to walk away with one or two action steps that they can put in place, and we can kind of talk about for the for the next session. So hey, you said you Want to do A, B and C? How did that go? And they say, am Lee was great. She was a total failure. And I’m not sure why that for the next session.

Micheal Pacheco 5:10
Okay, that tracks and what do in terms of like more medium or longer term? What are those engagement looks like? So you’re talking about sessions? Do you guys have like one session a week? Or your packages? Like, do you have three month engagements or six month engagements?

Jamaal Johnston 5:24
Yep, I typically do our sessions in there three months, and they can reoccur as the client ones. So for classes, while I’m working on a short term project, I think, working with you for 90 days to get me in and out, then we have done it that way. And also done some with the sawed off with 90, say, Hey, man, this is going very well, I got the initial goals that I’m looking for it, I want to see what’s down the road and when keep going. So we start with the 90 day blocks or three months, and then we continue at a 90 day block. So we kind of give them an opportunity to continue or stop, we don’t want to lock them in. And we kind of feel that they’re obligated for a year or six months to just say, Let’s do 90 days at a time and see how that’s working for you.

Micheal Pacheco 6:08
And you find I presume you find 9090 days to be a pretty effective chunk of time to in order to you know, help your clients meet specific goals. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Jamaal Johnston 6:21
Yeah, definitely the the 90 days, and I guess it kind of depends on how you who you ask, they say, you know, 7090 days, it takes that time to develop a new habit. So the things I found for me in the way I work with my clients, it kind of gives us a good time, a good block of time to dive in, what they’re looking at, get some traction, get some results. And again, if they need to come back, we always can do it again for another night. So it just kinda depends on what that goal is, for that particular client. Like I said, I’ve had some clients like, Hey, I’m working on this short term project. And I think you can get me straight in, you know, under 90 days. So I think that 90 days, or more enough to get us where we need to be,

Micheal Pacheco 7:00
Oh, can you talk a little bit about the kinds of projects that you work on with your clients,

Jamaal Johnston 7:06
anything from you know, that that promotion getting to that next step, too specific. So, um, I have a client that’s working on a new initiative, you know, had a client in HR, and they were bringing our onboarding package that they had to renew. So we’re like, hey, we want to see how it’s best to approach this project? And what are some of the things that I need to put in place, so we kind of just talked about that and went over that. And of course, there’s worked closely with their team, but they will come back and kind of have a sounding board with me and say, hey, you know, this went well. Didn’t quite like how this happened. Not sure why he went that way. I want to kind of talk about a choice of I can wrap my head around results that we get

Micheal Pacheco 7:50
nice. Can you talk a little bit about your your coaching style? So I know, you know, some some coaches are tough love, some coaches are, you know, act, as you know, more loving and kindness guides and things like that. So what’s what’s your what’s your jam? What’s your style?

Jamaal Johnston 8:08
Well, I’m very practical, I want my coaching to be hands on, I want to make it as easy as far as the given. I want that to be simple because of the results, and then changing the behaviors to our part. So I’m definitely a accountability guy, but I’m not going to be you know, the drill sergeant. If you missed, you know, a few of your goals, a few of the marks that we established, I’m more interested in, why did we miss them? And what can we put in place to make sure you hit next time opposed to saying, Hey, you didn’t follow through, there’s a problem, you know, so I’m more of the kind of gentler but definitely have some accountability. And just me personally, I’m not a biggest use case. I think excuses are, I call them the anti the anti imagination, anti growth, anti development. So I’m not big on excuses. We can work out the reason why and figure out what the problem is, but I don’t do too well with excuses personally. So I try to steer my clients away from making excuses and look for solutions instead.

Micheal Pacheco 9:11
Let’s, let’s talk about that. What happens when you’re working with a client, and they’ve got a very clear goal, let’s say for the week, and they come back and they’ve just got excuses piled up, you know, I was too busy. My things were happening with my family things were happening with the company. What how do you how do you work with them to help them overcome this this external, write the external excuses and take responsibility for themselves and empower them to make those changes for themselves?

Jamaal Johnston 9:44
Well, we look at first, you know, is it an excuse was a legitimate reason, you know, if you had three or four life things happen, and you just couldn’t do it, then that’s understandable, but we have that conversation. Turns out, you know what tomorrow I really could have I manage my schedule a little bit better. And if I push myself, I couldn’t get that that one test done. And again, these are coaching opportunities and chances for the client to kind of get that growth and find some of those recurring habits that are causing them not to meet some of their goals. So it’s all it’s always a conversation is always a conversation.

Micheal Pacheco 10:20
I like it. I like it. Let’s talk about some of your wins. Jamal, tell us about some some tell us some stories about clients that you’ve worked with names and faces change to protect the innocent. But tell us about some big wins that you’ve had some successes,

Jamaal Johnston 10:37
I think one of my first assess to kind of get me thinking that I might not be too bad at this coaching thing with the the youth group, I had a group of young men who started doing the I call it mentoring, but it was actually coaching started to coaching. And they were actually in ninth grade. And that group of young men went from ninth grade to now they have graduated college and working on their next steps in their profession, and they graduate work. So that’s that’s the first big way that I kind of count the kind of getting a kick started in this space. Another one reason when I had a client that was looking to start, you know, small business, he was actually trying to get into the training space. And we kind of hooked up because that was something that I was kind of doing. And he was kind of looking at putting it off and doing it later, you know, hey, at the beginning of the year, I’m gonna really kick this off, and I’m getting started. And he was one of the type of people that that will plan from now until forever, as far as to ask them a simple question of like, you know, you looks like you have some great plans to get all the steps down. Is there anything that’s stopping you from starting this next week? And he thought about it, I was like, Whoa, no, it’s not. And then I said, Well, could we have an action item and get you to initiate this on Monday? And he thought about it. I was like, Well, I don’t see anything that stopped me from doing it. And I just asked him, Okay, well, will you commit to having this started and initiated on Monday? And he’s like, Yeah, I guess I can, and from the started.

Micheal Pacheco 12:10
That’s great. I think that’s, that’s fantastic. Right? Big, good, strong. Leaders are decisive. And if you’re, you know, you put yourself in the shoes, what would? What would my best self do right? Now, if you’ve got the opportunity to do something versus not doing something? And you know, you want to do it, just do it? Why are you waiting?

Jamaal Johnston 12:33
You know, we kind of get wrapped up in this so far, in the worst case scenario, sometimes it’s just fear. And one of the things that I’ve dealt with coaching, sometimes all the coaching relationship is, is that person saying, Hey, I believe we can do it. So you should go ahead and do something. That’s, that’s, that’s as simple as the process is. Nice. But you got to figure it out. Yeah.

Micheal Pacheco 13:01
I love it. Tell us about so tell us about some failures, some some times where you have been working with a client, and maybe things have not gone perfectly, and what you’ve taken away from that, what you’ve learned from that, and how you’ve grown as a coach,

Jamaal Johnston 13:14
oh, boy, very recent lesson. Even though a client may seem right, you might not be the right coach for them. So having that process of, well, you’re really taking the time, and you guys are filling each other. Sometimes, with the business, you know, it’s sometimes it’s client driven, especially starting off, you want to get the clients want to get started, you want to get going. But if you make that mistake, and it’s not the right client, then it’s going to be a headache and a bad experience for you and the client. So I kind of had that recently. And it was it was okay, but it didn’t go as well as it could have gone and kind of ended the relationship a little bit early. So just kind of reflecting on that. That got me to the point of making sure that I do a little bit more due diligence upfront, when we have those conversations and slow down and make sure that there is a fit.

Micheal Pacheco 14:09
Yeah, I think that’s, that’s great. That’s a great one. I think that’s true for really any business but especially for coaches, because it’s such a personal you know, especially for one on one coaches, right, even even with with group like workshop coaches and team coaches. It’s a very, it’s a very personal, it’s not transactional at all. It’s very personal work, right? So you need to you need to make sure that that you’re, when you’re having that conversation with your prospect that you’re interviewing each other. It’s not it’s not it’s not a one way street.

Jamaal Johnston 14:45
It definitely is. I mean, and, you know, a lot of your coaches love the audience, they will be able to relate to this, but it is a relationship and oftentimes, it’s a more intimate relationship. So it’s not like hey, I’m gonna I’m gonna clock in None of them be in and out. It’s um, you know, it’s a personal relationship. And if you can connect with your clients that just makes that experience that much better for the both

Micheal Pacheco 15:12
100% 100%. What recommendations do you have for new coaches for coaches trying to, you know, break into, you know, break into this kind of leadership coaching that you’re doing.

Jamaal Johnston 15:27
First thing is work on your craft, always get better as a coach, and that basic body of knowledge and coaching and the skill set. And the next thing is kind of understanding your business model. And we kind of joked about it when we first started, you know, my, my ideal customers, not everybody, so kind of narrowing it down, who are the people that I want to work with? And who are the people that will benefit from my experience and what I have to offer as a coach, so you know, practicing your craft, and really focusing on taking the time to focus on some of those business aspects of the coaching industry?

Micheal Pacheco 16:02
100% 100%? What? So, working on your craft? Can you talk a little bit more about that? What does that what does that mean? How does how does one work on that?

Jamaal Johnston 16:13
Oh, everything from from reading anything you can get on coaching, to watching, coaching actually being demonstrated, and more importantly, having a coach and practicing with your coach and kind of, you know, working on some of the nuanced approaches of coaching, so having a conversation with a coach and say, Hey, let’s go over this scenario, let me know or tell me about, you know, your thoughts. And just having that exchange, having that space, I kind of call it the lab, you know, having that safe space where you can come in and work on your craft, you’re not worried about messing up and you’re gonna get that positive feedback and that positive reinforcement. So when you do it, live in real life, you have that much more confidence to say, Hey, I’ve been exposed to this, I’ve seen this. So that that helps.

Micheal Pacheco 17:02
You’re saying like, you could like, go into the lab to roleplay with your your coach. Something like that. Yeah, that’s great. Absolutely. I agree. 100% Every coach should also have a coach you got to your own dog food, right? If this is what you’re doing, you got to you got to believe in it and and act on it. Right. I love what you said about watching coaching being demonstrated, right? So you’re like, I’ve never heard this before. On this podcast, we’ve done 70 Plus episodes at this point. And no one has said this, but the idea of shadowing another professional coach for a day, or something like that. I think that’s that’s brilliant. That’s a that’s a great idea. Because then you can see, you know, how it really works. I wonder I wonder how you would go about getting building a relationship like that with another coach and getting sign off from the client, right to have a third party just kind of be hanging out. And shadowing so to speak.

Jamaal Johnston 18:08
Depends on you know, the relationship and the content. So I mean, if you have a client that’s like, Hey, Coach, I’m gonna dive in and we’re gonna talk about some real heavy this week, it might not be the time for me to say, Hey, I got a rookie coach, and I’m trying to come in and sit in on on the, on the on our chat service station ships, and it’s just about, you know, finding that person and saying, Hey, look, this is what I’m, what I would like to do this, what I’m trying to do. And one of the things that I found, it just happens that way. For me, I’m a visual learner, I learn by seeing and experiencing. So it’s like, Hey, can I come in and experience some of your I don’t want to say more routine sessions but some of those sessions that might not be as personal Can I Can I come in and just just sit in and get some some feedback? Get some tips?

Micheal Pacheco 18:54
Yeah. Nice. What are your let’s do this one, what are your top three? So you mentioned work on your craft. What are your top three books that you would recommend other coaches read to help them work on their craft and become better coaches and help more people?

Jamaal Johnston 19:15
Of course, the portable coach by by Leonard is a classic bit lengthy. I would go with to John Maxwell’s personal growth to think as a coach if you’re not growing and developing, you’re gonna stall. And I think the next one to kind of, oh, I want to change this silly John Maxwell was going to say, Great Leaders Ask Great Questions, but I will feel when failing forward because it puts a different spin on on the failure and how that is not necessarily a negative process. So portable coach, failing forward and what was

Micheal Pacheco 19:58
great Leaders Ask Great Question was personal growth. Personal Growth? Yep.

Jamaal Johnston 20:02
Empty personal growth. Yep. So the 15 was personal growth from from the Maxwell

Micheal Pacheco 20:06
Maxwell ones I’ve read before personal growth, or I’m sorry, portable coach I’m not familiar with. Can you talk a little bit about that? I’m curious.

Jamaal Johnston 20:15
Yep. The limit the limit is the author’s last name and he’s actually considered the father of life coaching. And through that book, he just has different tips and tactics as far as presenting ocean. So that’s that’s kind of like a must have for for coaches. They say that.

Micheal Pacheco 20:36
Why is it portable coach? Why is it portable?

Jamaal Johnston 20:39
Because I think is with with this concept and the framework that he presents, you can take it anywhere. So I think that’s the kind of the idea behind it. I think. I think it’s Thomas. Jalen, I think is I get mixed up on his first name.

Micheal Pacheco 20:53
Yeah, and can confirm and for those, you know, listening to this in your car, or on the run or whatever, we’ll we’ll have these links on the show notes as well. So you guys can come back and check those out. But yeah, Thomas J. Lynard. Portable coach, 28 surefire strategies for business and personal success. Looks like it’s got good reviews on Amazon. So I’m gonna have to check that one out, because I have not read that one yet. Yeah, to have that for your collection. Nice. Nice. Nice. Man, awesome, Jamal. I mean, I think we’re kind of blowing through this pretty quickly. Is there anything? Is there anything else that you would specifically like the chat about that we haven’t touched upon yet?

Jamaal Johnston 21:34
I think we covered everything. I think the biggest thing one of the takeaways that I would share was, you know, kind of, you know, the recommendations for the news team coaches and again, this you know, working on the craft, and understanding the business standpoint, and I think the main thing is just like the know that it’s a process and we’re gonna have those great days we’ll have those bad days I’ve had those days where like, you’re I am Steph Curry of coaching. And I had those days where it’s like, this will be my last session. So just know this is with life. You have those those ups and downs, but if you are passionate about helping people, kind of helping people get from where they are to where they really want to be. Coaching is a great, great profession for that.

Micheal Pacheco 22:14
I love it. I love it. And those those Steph Curry days got to feel make it feel like it’s worth

Jamaal Johnston 22:19
it. They do. They definitely do.

Micheal Pacheco 22:22
That’s awesome. Jamal. Jamal, we were chatting before I hit record, you’ve got some coaching, you got your own coaching services. Obviously, you’ve got a newsletter on your website, do you want to talk to us a little bit about about that, and what you can can kind of offer to our viewers and listeners.

Jamaal Johnston 22:40
Yeah, definitely. So one of the easiest ways to follow me on LinkedIn. So just check out Jamal Johnson on LinkedIn, you can kind of get access to a lot of our information and content. Also, the website for the organization is of course, www. I like the stuff, LG RC be a.org. And all of that you can sign up for our website, you’ll get on TV, you can sign up for our newsletter, you can access to some exclusive content. And also it will get you access to you know our staff as far as if you’re interested in coaching. Or if you just want to chat about leadership and coaching. You know, I’m one of those, those guys that hey, if anybody just wants to reach out and just just have a conversation, I’m all for it. I’m not trying to sell you anything. You just want to talk about the craft. I can do that with you.

Micheal Pacheco 23:26
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. You want a quick question about your website. LG RC, obviously leadership growth and Research Center. What’s the VA?

Jamaal Johnston 23:35
That’s just Virginia, l LG are rolling organizations. I couldn’t just use LG rc.org Because that was taken. I had a little bit flexible enough to the VA in there for Virginia. So

Micheal Pacheco 23:51
that’s great. Awesome. Brother, thank you so much for taking the time to join me on here. It’s been a great conversation. Yeah, appreciate your time.

Jamaal Johnston 24:01
Yes, sir. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Micheal Pacheco 24:03
Thank you, Jamal, and thank you to our viewers and listeners for joining us again. We’ll see you guys on the next episode. Cheers.

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