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How to Develop Your Leadership Influence with Brandon Steiner

Apr 14, 2022

Learn how to develop your leadership influence with one of the greatest leadership trainers in America, Brandon Steiner. Author of "You Gotta Have Balls." I had the privilege of interviewing Brandon and learning all about his unique approach to business and leadership. 
Brandon started Steiner Sports in 1987 with a one-room office, $4,000 and single Mac computer. Today, Steiner Sports is the most successful memorabilia company of its kind with over $35 million in annual sales.
Brandon's mindset has always been to be fearless – that mentality has helped him secure partnerships with the most elite names in sports; Derek Jeter, Eli Manning, Mark Messier and Carmelo Anthony, among others.
Brandon’s focus as a speaker is to grow your business by differentiating yourself from your competitors through building relationships, motivating your team, increasing productivity, and anticipating your customers’ needs.
Brandon is a leadership trainer for Keller Williams in New York City and spends much of his time sharing his leadership lessons. Brandon is also a best-selling author of You Gotta Have Balls, Living on Purpose, and The Business Playbook.


Full Transcript


Brandon Steiner, James Laughlin 


James Laughlin 00:00 

Welcome to lead on purpose. I'm James Laughlin, former seven-time world champion musician, and now an executive coach to global leaders and high performers. In every episode, I bring you an inspiring leader or expert to help you lead your life and business on purpose. Thanks for taking the time to connect today on investing in yourself. Enjoy the show. 


James Laughlin 00:39 

You Gotta Have Balls: How a Kid from Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium, and Created a Sports Empire. Brandon Steiner was that kid who sat in the nosebleed seats at Yankee Stadium and then went on to become CEO of Steiner Sports. Brandon is absolutely one of North America's top leadership strategists and thinkers. You're going to love today's show, sit back and enjoy. 


James Laughlin 01:22 

Brandon a huge welcome to The Lead on Purpose Podcast. 


Brandon Steiner 01:28 

Well, thank you. It's great to be here. You know, I love talking about leadership. And we can't get enough leadership right now. And the world we live in. And so, you are right spot on with this conversation in the many you have with other great thought leaders. 


James Laughlin 01:41 

Yeah, well, absolutely. Well, your name came up very recently, with a thought leader with our friend, Scott O'Neill. And he talks so highly of what you've done, what you've achieved, and where you started. So, I want to get right into it. The one thing that when I see it, just really caught my mind was the book, You Gotta Have Balls. So, tell me about why you wrote the book and why the title? 


Brandon Steiner 02:03 

Well, I wrote that book, just explain a little bit about the past. I mean, most people want to, you know, most people want the glory, but they don't want to know the story. And, you know, listen, it's always curious when you see somebody who's had some success, you know, you want that success too, but what you really want is the process, you want to go grab this story, not grab that glory. And you got to have balls with my mother's favorite line. You know, my mother was relentless. always pushed me to say never settle, be relentless. Go after what you want, and don't settle for success. Success can be very mediocre. You know, be extraordinary be the best at what you do when you're the best. That's what having balls is about. It's about going after not the status quo. But if snap broke, break it kind of mentality. And we'd always walk around to different businesses, my mother would say, see this business, it's got no backbone, it's got no soul, they got no balls here. And I mean, they just said, lose a sign outside the store. Look at the way these people are dressed, look at the places messy, you know, that kind of thing. And so, it was great grooming as a young kid, you know, to be able to have these discussions with my mom who was a great businesswoman. You know, back in the 60s and 70s, there were in a lot of great businesswomen, that wasn't like a thing. Like it is now like so many great businesswomen that just wasn't an accepted thing. And my mother wanted no part of that she was just a very entrepreneurial businesswoman and was always able to share her marketing thoughts with me and always prompt me to think about situations myself. So that's kind of where you got to have balls, and just how I built my last company up and how it all came together. And how it started when I was 10 years old. So, I love that book. I've written three books, but I love that book, just because if you're an entrepreneur and a salesperson out there, it is hard. Entrepreneurship is not hard. It's hard to get in the mindset. People say, can you be born an entrepreneur? Can you be born a leader? Yes, you can be, but you don't have to be. You can easily. Everyone could be a leader. Everyone can be an entrepreneur. 


James Laughlin 04:17 

Yeah, Brandon, that's cool. But you know, you've done this, and you've done that, but they don't believe in themselves. What can you tell them about your beginnings and that leadership wasn't handed to you on a platter? 


Brandon Steiner 04:31 

I think the most important thing on leadership that people have to understand is that you know, leader that when you look at the world leader, you know, it's an Indonesian word, you know, Lea is really a pathfinder. You know, "Lea" is path and "Der" is finder. So, it comes from the original word Pathfinder, and Pathfinder is the people that would get ahead of the group and kind of lead that group into safe waters, safe territory. I look at leadership is that you know, being able to find your away, if you go into the forest, you wouldn't just go into the forest alone, you'd make sure you work with, you make sure you go ahead with the right people to take care of the case was a bear, a rattlesnake, birds, you know, dangerous plants, whatever it is, you want to make sure you have the right people around you to make sure you create a path of the game was to get through the forest. And the other side. When I look at leadership, I think it's really coming down to two things. One, how do you take what you have, and make it better? How do you take what's broken and fix it? So, you know, it's simple business leadership, take what's broken, fix it, find what you're doing, we'll make it better. And then most importantly, getting back to the leadership and being a pathfinder, why I think everyone could be a leader, which is an act of kindness, anything you do to make someone better. Anything you can do to help another person, which is 50% of the reasons why we're on this planet, is to help each other, the other 50% is to get better. So, when I think about leadership, it's really about common sense. And what I say is if you want to increase your leadership, increase your empathy and compassion, get out of your head and think about others. And how do you do that is by trying to understand what other people are thinking and try to understand what other people are feeling as much as important is for you to what you're thinking what you're feeling. So back to, you know, your only reason, you know, there's only two reasons why are we here to get better and to help each other. We're the only species on the planet, a dog, a zebra, a bear, a goldfish, none of them can get better. We're the only species that can improve and get better. That's not a feeling, by the way. That's a fact. Okay, you're never going to come downstairs, your dog would have fed itself. Walk yourself between New York Times in a corner, you look over to the fish tank, you go fish, you can be doing backflips, it's never going to happen. So, you have to understand if you're not trying to get your company and trying to get your family and try to get better yourself. You miss 50% of the reason why you are even here on this planet. It's that simple. So, leadership is being a pathfinder. It's using common sense putting yourself in someone else's shoes, by feeling what other people are feeling thinking what other people are thinking, you're getting other people's shoes and understanding what they need, what they may be feeling. And as a leader, what you can do for them to feel better, do better. That's what great leaders do. Now, obviously, you want to be a master of your craft master of your own life first, which is what some people struggle with. But when you've mastered the business, the craft you're in, you're in a position to be a great leader, because you can then understand what other people are feeling. And then lead them to be able to do better, do more, feel better. That's what great leaders do a combination of those things. But you must first realize, turn up your common sense, which is turning up your empathy and compassion, fix what's broken, take, look at what you're doing and figure out how to do it better, that will excite people. And most importantly, we're here to help each other as an overall common denominator. So, you can always show any sign of helping one another, helping another human being helping your classmate, your teammate, your worker, next door to you. That is a sign of leadership, any act of that is good leadership, which is why I feel everyone could be a leader, not just the person in the corner office. And I wish and what would desperately need of is more leadership in communities, in schools. In business, we need more leadership, not just people looking to make a dash to make as much money as they can but to make as much of an impact and a difference as they can. Sorry, I went on a little rant there. 


James Laughlin  

Brilliant! I love it!  


Brandon Steiner 

I kind of had that kind of pent-up on a Friday, but I wanted to get that out. 


James Laughlin 09:04 

Well, when I hear there, Brandon is that leadership is definitely not a destination. It's an ongoing journey. 


Brandon Steiner 09:13 

Absolutely. And you got to think about whether you want to have a journey or a career. You know, if you want to have a career, it's okay. Nothing wrong with it. But a journey is like a sailboat out in the water. You know, you're not sure which the turns and twists, but you're able to have radical acceptance. I think it's really important as a leader to have radical acceptance. You know, the CEO of Twitter said this, I think a few months ago, I was listening to something he said, you know, in life, there's a lot of fires burning, can't put them all out. You know, radical acceptance means you can't always make a difference by making an impact on everything. You have to pick out your spots. And you got to accept some things for the way they are. That's smart leadership. You know, as well, you know, so radical acceptance, something most people don't talk about, because, you know, why would you send something that you're not happy about because you maybe can't fix it, or you can make a difference on it. So why mess with it. And I think a lot of leadership gets off track by, we saw our president here and Trump, who really did not have any conception about radical acceptance, he fought and battled everything every day all day. And he got caught up in so much noosha with so many things, he couldn't make an impact on difference and it took him away from the important issues. And as a leader, it cost him the election, amongst other things, so, but you can learn from that you can learn from all leaders, good and bad. And one of the most important things you can learn is prioritization and perspective. 


James Laughlin 10:41 

Beautiful, and in terms of like, figuring out what your priorities are, because often leaders, you know, I've worked with several different CEOs, leaders that talk about no got to do with email, and I got to deal with staff retention and culture and sales and marketing. How do you just get in a Monday morning, and go, you know what, this is the priority, this is the one thing we got to focus on? 


Brandon Steiner 11:03 

Well, I'm a big fan of, if you have more than two, possibly three priorities in a day, you're probably got no priorities, you're probably headed, you're probably headed to a shitstorm anyway. And I think you know, you got to have an MVP, most valuable priorities. I call my MVP list. And the way you create your MVP list is with most people having a to-do list. I have my not-to-do list. The strong you're not to do list is destroying your MVP list, we'll come together. And I think you got to know who's important. And you got to know what's important, and what's important to who's important. You got to do what's important, who's important every day if you're not doing what's important for who's important. And don't having really locked down focus on those two most important priorities doesn't mean you can't get more accomplished. But if you've got more than two priorities, just go to a bar, just drink, eat some gummies. Because you might as well do it at least have a party.  


James Laughlin 11:58 

You heard it here first guys. 


Brandon Steiner 12:01 

Exactly. So, I'm a big fan of minimizing the number of priorities. Most of us wake up in the morning, and we're like, oh, my God, there's no way I'm going to go get shit done. And then you go to bed and go, oh, my God, give me things I forgot to do. It's just not a good feeling. I mean, why would you do that to yourself? So, you know, prioritization, and your MVP list's most valuable priorities is a critical tool in managing and having too many priorities, and expecting all those priorities to get done is really just it's really a direct road to disappointment, not feeling really good, and confidence is king. And having a good track record of knowing what's important and who's important, is ultimately what gets you through the day, in a big way. 


James Laughlin 12:48 

Hmm, powerful stuff. And a kid who came- 


Brandon Steiner 

It's true though! 


James Laughlin 

It is bloody amazing. When you think about it like that, it is so true. And yet, we often neglect it, we get caught up in all the other craziness.  


Brandon Steiner 13:01 

I knew today exactly what I had to get done. Because it was two or three things. And if anything, else got done great. But those two, three things by hook or crook were going to get done. Did you know when? I put my head down, I got the most important things for the most people done. And it wasn't going to let some of those other little fires get in the way of these most important fires. You can't put out all the fires. So, stop, if you're a leader out there listening, stop trying to put out all the fires, it's not going to work. You know, it's the important fires. Let's start with the ones your families are in, and then the ones with your most important employees start with those fires. 


James Laughlin 13:39 

That's amazing. And I want to talk a little bit. For those who are listening right now. You started off as a kid in Brooklyn from scratch, ended up buying Yankee Stadium, growing multi-million-dollar businesses, in fact, several multi-million-dollar businesses. How does that happen? Like many kids that started off from scratch, that didn't happen for them. What's different about your thinking, your decision-making, and your personal leadership? 


Brandon Steiner 14:12 

Oh, it's a great question. It's a complicated one. And I think when I think about how you get from point A to point B, I think it always starts at the beginning. You know, and the best way, you know the best ways is to start making sure that you get your story straight at the beginning. Because there are always great learning lessons, particularly when you're growing up. So about how you want to accept those lessons and look at them. I grew up screamingly poor, 539 Kings Highway was not a very sexy address. I live over a block kosher butcher where you know, they killed the chicken bread on my window every morning. I lived over a store. Very, very small apartment on welfare most of that time. And you know, I remember I've been working since I'm 10 years old, that's how it got started. And I don't recommend that people should have kids go to work at 10 years old, literally on their own without parental supervision, finding work, and hustling. That's just a rare thing and I felt like I needed to do that. But I remember going to see my mom and saying, I needed a career change. I want to do something different. I need more free time, and I was working way too hard, just like you're 12 Are you kidding me? And I say, Yeah, but I want to be free after school. And I'm working every day after school and on Saturdays. So, open up this paper route, and there was a sign on the window that said, whoever opens up the most accounts, wins a box of candy bars which was like, wow, that's huge! I got to win that. So, I'm knocking on doors, and I'm trying to open up accounts at 29 dailies and 34 Sundays, and finally get to this older woman she's got to be close to eighty and I said, Maam, would you get the paper though? She said absolutely not. I said the same price for me as a corner store. It was eight cents. She said, but then I got to tip you. Now I've been out already for almost a week and opened up an account I go home I say, Mom, we got to move out in this neighborhood. This neighborhood sucks. The people are cheap, these people are no good, they don't even understand what you know what it takes how hard I'm working. My mother said to sit down. I'm going to tell you this only once. Stop selling. Start serving. Start solving. Be a solution-based businessperson and get out of your own head. You want to be an entrepreneur, you got to start thinking to understand what other people are thinking, what other people need. I know you want to open up the casket what do they need? So, I go back I'm knocking on doors and at 10 o'clock at night literally. I knock on this woman's door. She thought there was a fire. Are you crazy? She snaps! Give me a minute. If there's a rental down for a snowstorm, ice on the ground, heatwaves, a woman shouldn't be out. I will deliver the paper never be late at 7:30 am. And I'll bring you milk and bagels every Wednesday and Sunday. You would do that for me? I said I was concerned. I mean, sure enough, I'm delivering more milk and bagels, I went to 199 dailies and 234 Sundays, won two boxes of candy bars. And you know, I love that story. And I and the question I asked anybody listening is, are you really listening to your customers? Are you trying to solve a problem? Are you really trying to serve them with what they need? Or are you serving them what you want to sell them? Because there's a big difference. But the most important thing that's most impressive about that story as a 12-year-old is the level of empathy and compassion that I was able to think about because this woman was not just any ordinary woman, she turned me on to the whole neighborhood. And that's one thing I tell people all the time you never know when your life is going to dramatically change by one transaction. One sale, you only need to make sometimes one sale, and it can change everything. Most people don't think that they think they're going to make a million sales. But it's really coming down to sometimes meeting one person which could be your wife or husband. One sale. I made one saleswoman. two boxes a candy bar. So, I was already king of Saudi Arabia after those two boxes of candy bars. But, you know, at the end of the day, I learned a very valuable lesson, which was compassion and empathy. Common sense what's an 80-year-old woman going to do when the weather's bad? And for a 12-year-old that's amazing. And that's what led me and what I've been doing for the last 50 years. I met Derek Jeter I'm not thinking most people when they meet a celebrity or a big account. They're thinking about what they can get. I'm thinking about what I could give what I could serve, what I could do for them that they can't do for themselves, what value can I provide. And value is what you could do for someone that they cannot do for themselves. That's value. Nobody wants to talk about value. Because it doesn't always get to the bottom line. Some of the things you have to do for someone, but ultimately, when you're valuable, nobody's getting rid of you. So, when I meet a Derek Jeter, who's a valuable commodity, I know he's going to be in Jeter, but I'm helping with his turn to I'm helping to raise money, I knew the foundation was important. He tried to find things for people that they need. And try to be a solution-based businessperson and do what you can as much as you can for as many people as you can as often as you can and expect nothing back when you go into that game or provide value. It's not with one hand to help I want to give something back. It's doing what you can to help. And I think people are moved by that. And when I think back to the number of bagels, I delivered I know that's the swagger man! But you know, it's like, but what I love about that story is that common sense. I wasn't born with that, you know, my mother pushed me but to even think about what it's like as a 12-year-old to be an eight-year-old. And the dangers are big, you know, it's like for an eight-year-old to go out and bad weather. I mean, damn, that's really smart. And that's what I really, really hope that the people listening to this will get from this story is like, are you really thinking about the people you're dealing with from their view, from their emotional state, and that's how you win. And that's how you win big. 


James Laughlin 20:06 

That's just gold! For you that are listening right now, I hope you guys are writing that down. Because it's not about focusing on sales what you're saying that Brandon, it's about focusing on empathy, focusing on the customer focusing on value, and the sale takes care of itself. 


Brandon Steiner 20:20 

Because empathy, the definition of empathy is to put yourself in a common person's shoes, which I'm really saying just if you want to have more sales, more entrepreneurism, increase your common sense. Get to the common person's shoes and get out of your freaking head and get into other people's heads. I'm so externally distracted from an embassy standpoint, I'm always thinking about everything that I see around me and what it feels like to be, whenever I talk to somebody on the phone. I mean, like, where are you? What's it like there, I want to be in your head. And it's a better way for me to understand where you are, and who you are. 


James Laughlin 20:57 

So great! And the word that keeps coming to mind, as you say, what you just said is influence. I don't mean that in a coercive way at all, leadership in an influencing way. So, for people who want to develop authentic influence in a really empathic way, how do we develop influence as leaders? 


Brandon Steiner 21:17 

Trust, I think that you know, people have to understand as a leader is that most people think if I have the best product, I'll have the best business. And I think having a really good product is one of the three most essential parts of owning and running and leading a business, you got to have a great product. If I buy a bottle of water, you don't want to buy the bottled water, this fish swimming in it, right? You know you want to make sure that it's efficient, it's effective, you want to be able to get the water when you want the water where it's supposed to be whatever. But what people don't understand is that people don't come back, they will not, you don't get customer loyalty, just because you had a good product. Ah, the answer to your question is to get that kind of loyalty and get that kind of influence. People have to like you, and you got to be nice. And they got to trust you. So, people will buy your product, because it's a good product, but they will not necessarily be loyal to your product. Unless they trust you. And they like you and you're nice to them. And this is where a lot of companies fall off the wagon. Yeah, you got a great product, but have you ever talked to the person on the phone that is selling your product, the minute I get an opportunity to go somewhere else I'm going. So, if you want loyalty and influence with your customers, then you have to be nice to them. You have to treat them well. And you have to create trust. Because relationships, the better ones anyway, are all based on trust. And likability. If I don't like you, and I don't trust you, the first opportunity I have, I will jump off your ship and find somewhere else. So as much as I want to have the best product and want to be efficient, I want to be effective with my products. I want people to like me, I want people to trust me because I want their loyalty. So, when other competitors come up, they're not going to slide over so easily. 



James Laughlin 23:03 

That's beautiful. And with your business. So, let's Can we talk about sports memorabilia for a second? 


Brandon Steiner 

Of course! 


James Laughlin 

If I was going to work for you. What would keep me working for Brandon and not going somewhere else? 


Brandon Steiner 23:19 

Mainly because there is no day like I mean, I've come up with some ideas that are completely disruptive. I mean, there's we have no idea what we're doing. I was thinking this the other day is like, you know, in the beginning, do you set your list of goals? One of my goals is to try to accomplish something based on the fact that I have no idea what that is. And I have no idea what I'm doing. And that's like weird, like, I'm like, you know, one of my wife's like giving me New Year's resolutions. So yeah, I'm trying to try to figure out something that I have no idea what that is, or even how I'm going to do it. And that's kind of where a collectible exchange is like we're going to have to eBay's business, we have a huge marketplace where you can put your memorabilia up and sell it. And we have 150,000 items on there. And then alongside that is 80 micro sites of athletes, where you can buy a product directly from them. And the way I come up with that is I do athletes want to sell directly to consumers. And I'm thinking there are all these customers I've sold millions of collectibles to and I'm figuring out, I know that at some point that I need to sell this stuff where they're going to do it. They need a place that they can trust and a place they can feel comfortable with and it's not eBay. So where else do you go sell your collectibles? And I'm hoping it's going to be on a collectible exchange or athlete direct if you're an athlete. So, you know, for me, it's like I'm okay with the discomfort. I'm okay saying this. I don't know what I'm doing. If you're working for me, you need to be comfortable with the fact that tomorrow is going to be a new day and most days are not the same. And that's not for everyone. And that's if you're working for me. If you really wanted to get a straight line if you would think you were taking the local train in your neighborhood to get to work, then my company is not going to be for you. We're like a sailboat out in the middle of the water. And every day the wind is blowing all these different ways. We're just trying to push trying to stay afloat man. And I love it. Because I feel like I'm 20. Again, I'm building a new business. I have no idea if this is going to work, I know there's a need, I think it's a solution to a lot of people that have seen a lot of collectibles, that don't really have a platform to sell them. And what's interesting is, I've been studying the two greatest platforms that we know of, which are Amazon and Alibaba. And when I thought about this, when I started building my site, I'm like, I don't want to be like Amazon, I don't want to control everything. I've already done that my last company at Steiner, and I'm not with Steiner anymore, I want to be like Alibaba, I want to go to all the greatest collectors that are all over the world, whether it's Australian football, Russian hockey, Japanese baseball, European soccer, American football, and I want you to go on this site and see all these things. That's my goal. Alibaba is not a platform that makes things there a platform that enables all the greatest and all these different categories to collaborate, and sell their products, so they can do what they do. And I could be here creating a market and building the best platform. So collectible exchange is such a myriad of great collectors, that I've been able to lure on to my site, my job is to market SEO digital market, and bring the traffic so people can see all these great things. Instead of like my old company, I was kind of forcing them to buy the things that I created and made, I completely disrupted. For those who keep score out there. I've completely disrupted everything I built for the last 30 years. That's not good enough anymore. That's not really what people want. They want more diversity, they want more creative, more limited-edition stuff. And I'm going to give that to you, and I created a completely different kind of platform than I ever have beforehand. Which by the way, is very messed up, and at some point, I got to get my head examined for doing this, because a lot of people felt like what I created, my last computer is pretty good. But I think this is better. 


James Laughlin 26:58 

I love that. Like I really admire that. And I was thinking before the call was like, the one question I really want to ask Brandon is how you go through different decades of life, and professionally still maintain passion and purpose and meaning, and you're just explaining it right there. Like you want to just level up, you want to disrupt you want to keep passionate about what you're doing? It's amazing. 


Brandon Steiner 27:20 

I think the key is, is it's just my opinion. But I think the key to getting through the different levels and different ups and downs and transitions in life is, it doesn't really matter where you are, what matters is what you want to accept. And what also matters is what you're radically willing to accept being there are some things that you can make a difference that you can change. And you got to radically accept those things. And there are things that you know, you can fix this thing, you can make an impact and a difference. And those are things that you got to go and get done. And if you start getting caught up and think you can change everything, you're going to get upset about everything, you let everything gets you, it's going to be very difficult for you to get through all those different levels of life and keep going and growing. And then the last thing is like sometimes in order to earn more, you got to learn more, sometimes you got to step back and go, you know, you aren't that smart, you better put on your learning shoes. And hopefully, that's more often than not, I've always been, I was a horrible student in school, managed to get through got my accounting degree went to Syracuse loved it. But I really learned the importance of learning. And I think if you want to earn more, you got to learn more. And I've always been a curious learner. So, if you want to get through the different phases, you got to turn the volume up on your curiosity, and you got to be open to learning, I don't care what degree what position you got if you're not learning, you're probably not at your height. So that's how you get through the different phases in my mind. It's radically accepting a bunch of things that you know, you can make an impact on things you can change, like I said earlier, let some of the fires burn out. But more importantly, the things you can make a difference, I think you do want to put your heart and soul into going for it. As long as you know, you can fix it now. So, it doesn't matter where you're at my friend, what matters, what you want to accept, and what you want to allow and put on the side and not get yourself crazy about it. 


James Laughlin 29:12 

Phenomenal! And talking about great leaders and having someone that is out there as a bit of a role model. You're obviously deep into the sport, you're passionate about sports, who and your mind is one of the greatest leaders in the sport of all time that really inspires you? 



Brandon Steiner 29:27 

You know what's interesting about the leaders, obviously, you need to be a master of your craft, you have to be a really good player and you have to be the best player, but a good player is a player that wants to have success for their teammates, that wants the people around them to succeed as much as they want to succeed. You can't be jealous; you can't look at a player who's really great. That's not a great leader if they're not enjoying the success of others. So, you know, I've met every great leader, I've met every great athlete, I've met quite a few of them. I mean Mark Messi is one of my favorites. He's running A great book on leadership. And the reason I love Mark is he is just a high level of empathy. He always thinks of others and enjoys other people's success as much as he enjoys his own. If you watched him when he played hockey, you watch when a goal got scored, you can never tell if he scored or one of his teammates did. He had as much joy and excitement. You can never tell who scored the goal. So, I always thought he was a great, great leader. There are a lot of good leaders out there. It's difficult for them to show those stripes because there's so much media attention that twists and turns different things. But I think when you see teams win, you see with Golden State with Steph Curry, it's waving his towel, when Klay Thompson supporting him, you know, great leader, you know, a guy that is dropping 30, dropping 20. But he's really more importantly, in the winning and his players around them doing better. Those are the people that I watch and really enjoy. I thought I think you know, he's like one of my favorite leaders up and coming young. And I think Bron is a lot that way too. But can you detract the attention from yourself and push it on to others, when needed when necessary to boost others up is a great sign of leadership. It's really hard to do it today in sports, because the expectations are so high, especially for the higher paid athletes. But those are my favorites, you know, always loved Muhammad Ali. I mean, not enough gets talked about him. His radical, his leadership, he's giving selflessness traveling the world. I mean, amazing got to work with him for about seven or eight years. And really just always learned a ton from him every time I was with him. 


James Laughlin 31:46 

So, if you think about that, to me, that's incredible that you got that opportunity to kind of rub shoulders and learn from him be with him. What was one of your greatest takeaways from Muhammad Ali? 


Brandon Steiner 31:57 

I mean, my greatest takeaway from Muhammad Ali was that he was more interested in serving. Always, you know, when he was in public, he realized he was a public figure and what the gift was, and he never came up short. From an entertainment standpoint, whether it be sitting there signing autographs, going into communities, neighborhoods, he was never afraid to disrupt and do what he felt was right. And when talking with him, it was always very, very generous with the details about, you know, what his mission was, or what his journey was, and is a guy traveling, you know, a couple 100 days a year with Parkinson's. So, I think there's a lot of joy and trying to make the world a better place. I think sometimes people underestimate, you know, the collaboration, you know, they are all better than some of us, you know, we're better as all than we are individual. When I see people trying to make the whole world a little better. It's moving, you know, it's pretty cool. I mean, that's one of the things I love about Warren Buffett is, he needs to go give away $70 billion to Bill Gates who thinks he could probably do a better job with his money and helping people, it really moves me like, that's a collective. I don't want to attract a lot of attention, from my name on everything, like, I want to have the biggest impact. I love making money, let Bill Gates who he and his wife are really focusing on trying to make a difference in the world. Let me get behind that. Those are great role models in my mind. You know, Oprah, you know, I mean, Oprah has been a great role model of mine, I love her leadership skills, her ability to articulate how to help other people, I think a lot of people struggle with how to help, how they can be helpful how they can make a difference. And constantly putting great leaders on our shows, showing how you can make a difference, but all these little things have been she's had been a huge, huge difference-maker.  


James Laughlin 33:46 

Agreed, 100%, globally. And as a leader yourself, when you've been struggling, maybe when you've made some poor decisions, you're under the weather. Who do you go to, to help you move through and who holds you to a higher standard in your life? 


Brandon Steiner 34:03 

Well, this is often, by the way, I mean, if you're not screwing up and feeling that way, especially as a leader, I mean, you know, you're always a little paranoid, you're always doubting some of them, you know, he always reviewing, I don't like to get stuck in these holes. But, you know, as a leader, you're going to make a lot of mistakes. You know, I keep a young group around me. I have a generation Z, I'm a big fan of what I see young kids these days, so I'm always talking to young kids about what's going on and their views. My wife is always my, she's the police, man. I mean, she's the one that she's just she doesn't sugarcoat it. So, a lot of times I mean, it's always difficult anyways, Mary knows this that, you know, your wife was going to be right, probably in the high 90 percentile. Very difficult to live with a person who's always freaking right. But you know, truth the matter is, you know, women are a lot smarter than men. And I think for me You know; I have lived with my wife now for 35 years. You know, I mean, you know, when I want the truth, and I want the reality check, she's going to give it to me. She's my accountability police. So, you know, I knew when I saw my wife, I met my wife when I was 17. I knew that you know, the first time I saw coming down the sill, we met at summer camp, I knew this is a woman I wanted to argue with for the rest of my life. And there's no question that like, you know, very smart woman. And I'm always careful when she does tell me her opinion. Because even if I differ on it, I really wait, you know, hard on it, because most likely she's going to be right. 


James Laughlin 35:36 

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And I want to just before we wrap up, I guess the question I really want to ask is if you were talking to your kids, and this was the last thing you could say to them before you left earth. And they were asking the question, hey, Dad, how do we go through life and lead it on purpose? What would your answer be to that? 


Brandon Steiner 36:00 

What I would say is making an impact, make a difference, you know, do what you love doing and take it to the level where you can make an impact make a difference. Because when you get to be great at something, or extraordinary at something, you then have the doors wide open to make an impact, use that power, use that influence to make an impact and make a difference. And have fun, you know, um, you know, I probably wish I had a little more fun, I'm not the most fun guy, I think, you know, I've had plenty of fun, but I probably been free much more on the serious side than the fun side. So I remind my kids, like, have a little extra fun for the fun, maybe that kind of avoided a little bit in getting so serious about leadership and about business, but have a little fun, but you know, make an impact, make a difference. And don't be afraid to help out the person next to you, you know, make, you know, make sure that part of your journey is about making this world a little better than when you found it. I think it's such an important thing is the message itself. A lot of people in my coaching and my leadership classes that you can only go into a company with one mission, which is to make that company better than when you found it. Okay, your industry should be better because you were in it. And you remember above and beyond on top of that you are here to help. So not everything is a bottom line, line item. How much are we making? You know, part of the deal is as you strive towards extraordinary and big success is to do good. When you do good. It'll lead you to do well. Most people think wow, I do well make a little more money, then I'll do some good. No, no, no, no, no. I would say to my kids focus on doing as much good as you can. And the more good things you do, it'll lead you even do better. When it comes to your own fitness, your own health, your business. Do good. Incorporate good into your life into your day. Help other people, be generous, and it will lead you to do well.  


James Laughlin 37:59 

So beautiful. For those of you who are listening right now, now, do good, good and do good. It's such a simple yet powerful message. Brandon, I just want to say a huge thank you for what you do for everyone around you that you leave it in your family and your community, in your businesses, what you do is inspirational. And I'm so glad that we actually got a chance to connect. 


Brandon Steiner 38:20 

Well, thank you. I'm a big LinkedIn guy, by the way. So, message me on LinkedIn, follow me on LinkedIn, and on collectible Exchange, or go to CXstuff.com, I'm giving away my book free, all you have to do is pay for the shipping. If you want to get a signed copy of any one of the three books. I'm always happy to share it, please just message me or go to CXstuff.com and you can pick up a copy of the book if you have anything you want to sell collectible exchanges your place. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. Hopefully, this was helpful for the people out there and hopefully, we can all add a little leadership into our life starting tomorrow. 


James Laughlin 38:58 

I love it and I'll make sure to put all that in the show notes for everyone so they can get in touch with you get a copy of your book and get-go and check out your website. 


James Laughlin 39:25 

Thanks for tuning in today and investing in your own personal leadership. Please hit that subscribe button. And I'd love if you'd leave me a rating and review. I've got some amazing guests lined up for you in the coming weeks. And leaders. It's that time to get out there and to lead your life on purpose.