L3 Leadership Transcriptions: 231: Overcoming Leadership Obstacles | Interview With Center For Victory

By September 15, 2019Transcripts

Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with L3 Founder, Doug Smith. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos.

Doug Smith: 00:00 So you have more potential than you could ever imagine. There’s gifts inside of you that you don’t even know where any of you, and if you’ll just start being intentional with your life and start surrounding yourself with the right people and you will be shocked at what can happen in your life five, 10, 15 years from now if you’ll just be consistent day in and day out, day in and day out.

Doug Smith: 00:18 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 231.

Doug Smith: 00:34 What’s up everyone? And welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast where we are obsessed with helping you grow to your maximum potential and to maximize the impact of your leadership. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host and in today’s episode, you’ll hear me being interviewed by my friend Zach Delturco from Center for Victory. I had the opportunity to be on their podcast recently and they allowed me to share the interview here on our podcast, so we are grateful for that and senator for victories and organization that we actually partner with here at L3. One of the things they do as an organization is offer a tool called the Predictive Index assessment. It’s a personality test, but specifically for organizations to help them with the hiring, coaching and organizational development process. The nonprofit I work for, Light of Life Rescue Mission brought this tool on about a year ago and I can tell you it’s been a game-changer in the way we hire and the ways that we coach and in the way that we do organizational development.

Doug Smith: 01:24 And so fell in love with this tool. And I actually, we set up a partnership with Center for Victory that everyone that joins L3 and becomes an L3 Leadership member will get a free predictive index assessment. And a free training was Zach and Eric from Center for Victory. And I can tell you that many l three years have gone through this and absolutely loved it, several of them and brought the tool on to their organization. And so, uh, if you’re interested in that, make sure you reach out to us or become a member of L3 today and you can get your free assessment and your free training. In the interview you’ll hear me share the story of L3 Leadership. You’ll hear me share about why we do what we do here. I’ll share about how to develop the courage to launch the dreams in your heart.

Doug Smith: 02:04 You’ll hear me talk about the power of mentoring and encouragement and so much more. I know you’re going to love this interview, but before we dive into the interview, just a few announcements. First, I want to let you know that we are about to make some huge changes here at L3 Leadership. In fact, in January we’re launching what we’re calling L3 3.0 and I’ll probably do an entire podcast episode to give you context for all the changes that we’re making. But for now to give you an 80,000-foot view, I want to let you know that starting in January, wherever you are, wherever you are listening to this, you’re going to have the ability to connect with what we’re doing here at L3 Leadership. A lot of people have expressed frustration that if they don’t live in Pittsburgh, it’s really hard to get connected to the community.

Doug Smith: 02:40 And so starting in January we’re going to be offering monthly online calls with myself and leaders from across the nation. We’ll have the ability for you to join an online mastermind and coaching groups. And then we’re also going to be offering leadership and organizational coaching and training. And so we are just so excited for this. So I just want to let you know, stay tuned. But wherever you are, wherever you are, wherever you’re listening to this, I want to encourage you to, to jump on, become a member of L3 Leadership today. We have some exciting things in the pipeline and again, as I mentioned, you get a free Predictive Index assessment and training. That’ll be coming up as well. So stay tuned for L3 3.0 we are so excited. And then of course as I’ve been announcing, we have a date for our L3 One-Day 2020 conference.

Doug Smith: 03:18 This will be our second conference and we could not be more excited. It’s going to be on Friday, March 13th, 2020 right here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And we have listened to all the feedback we got from the first conference, which was a huge success. And we plan on making this year’s conference 10 times better than our first one. So save the date. Plan on bringing your team, get in the room, leaders do not miss this opportunity. And if you’re listening to this and if you would ever, if you have an organization that would be interested in sponsoring the event, we already have several sponsorships’s sold for the conference. You can email me a dougSmith@L3leadership.org or message us on social media. We’d love to have your organization highlighted at the conference. So, with that being said, let’s dive right into the interview and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements.

Zach Delturco: 04:03 My name is Zach Delturco. I’m an executive consultant. I’m here with Doug Smith. He’s a nonprofit leader, but also owns his own company. Doug, thank you so much for being on this podcast today. I think we’re going to have an awesome time. It is Labor Day weekend, Saturday, and you’re here. So a special thank you. But go ahead and tell me a little bit about L3 Leadership, which is your, your, your company you started at a couple of years ago in the Pittsburgh region. What was your why behind that?

Doug Smith: 04:34 Yeah. Well, before I jump into that, I just want to say, Zach, it’s an honor to be here and I’m here on a Saturday morning cause I love what you and Eric and Center for Victory is doing and your heart for leaders and your heart to transform people’s lives. So I, it’s just an honor. For L3 Leadership. So my passion for leadership development started when I was 17 years old. I was, I barely graduated high school, never thought I would amount to anything. And I had the opportunity to intern at a church where I met a youth pastor named Larry Bettencourt and he became a mentor in my life and he was the first leader in my life to see potential mean to tell me that I was a leader and could do great things. And he hit me a John Maxwell CD and I love John Maxwell.

Doug Smith: 05:13 I threw it in. I didn’t even know what personal development was. He just said, listen to this. Well, five minutes in, I’m like, this is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard my entire life. I transcribed the entire lesson by hand and I felt like I was new in the Matrix and I just learned come through and I called pastor Larry and I said, give me everything you got. I want every lesson. And I also found out they came with notes so I didn’t have to transcribe it. But that was the start of my leadership development journey. From that day on, probably for two or three years, I would listen to two or three hours of John Maxwell’s lessons at night and just developed a passion for leadership and ultimately to make a difference in the lives of leaders. So I started as a young leader getting a vision for what if I could one day have a company, have conferences, et Cetera, to add value to leaders.

Doug Smith: 05:56 It’s funny, as I was, I was doing a decade review a few years ago and I realized that, the first time I had a dream for what we’re doing with L3 was in 2007. However, we didn’t launch L3 until 2015. And so it took me a while to actually get the courage to launch, but we launched in 2015 we have a leadership podcast. And really the reason I started at it was I would just want to do for others what Larry has done for me, what John Maxwelll has done for me. I just want to add value and to transform leaders’ lives. And so that’s why we started out doing leadership in 2015.

Zach Delturco: 06:27 Yeah. And tell me a little bit about L3 Leadership and cause a lot of people that are listening to this, I mean, they’re all across the country. I think this is an awesome concept. You know, what, what, what was your initial kind of startup phase and where are you guys at now?

Doug Smith: 06:42 Yep. So I kept sharing this vision for developing leaders with my wife wire. And I think she just finally got frustrated and said, what are you gonna do something about it? And even though I didn’t ask her too, she created a Facebook event and said at the time we called it learning to lead, it wasn’t even L3 Leadership and learning to lead vision night on Mount Washington and she invited like a thousand people. I’m like, I’m going to kill you. 

Zach Delturco: And you knew nothing about it. 

Doug Smith: I knew nothing. Yeah. And I was so, I was so mad. 

Zach Delturco: That’s such a good wife man. 

Doug Smith: I don’t know if we’d be sitting here today and she didn’t do that. And so, we launched this leadership company and I was around these great leaders and spending time with them. And there’s a leader in Pittsburgh that I greatly admire and they Reed Carpenter.

Doug Smith: 07:23 And in the 70s, he made, he transformed so many leaders lives in our city. And I really believe so many of the nonprofits and ministries that exist in Pittsburgh today are a result of this man pouring into leaders. So I just asked him, I said, hey, how did you make such a difference? I feel called to do that for my generation? What could I do to do that? And he just said, gather people in a, again, if you’re listening to this, I’m a person of faith and he was as well, and he said, just start gathering people and see what the Holy Spirit does. And so we gathered people on Mount Washington, you were there actually the first night. 

Zach Deturco: I was a couple minutes late.

Doug Smith: But hey, you waiting to hear the picture baby, I’ll always point back to that picture. But we gathered leaders and I just said, listen, we’re going to develop and connect leaders for five, 10, 15, 20 years, and we believe that if we connect and develop them and follow them on their leadership journeys and teach them how to lead with, with our values.

Doug Smith: 08:11 Then we’re going to transform our city by developing leaders in all different sectors all throughout our city. And so that was the vision. And we started off just by doing monthly events where we have speakers from the city come in and teach leadership. And then we launched a single mastermind group at the time and we run mastermind groups to this day. And I believe every leader needs to be in a mastermind group. And then fast forward just a few years, we just launched our first, L3 One-Day Leadership Conference last year and it was a great success. It was awesome. Yeah. And we’ll be having another one that’s smart show. Those are a few of the things that we do and we’re really getting excited about the future. We’re going to be watching what we’re calling y’all through 3.0 and in January.

Zach Delturco: 08:48 That’s incredible. Now I want to kind of take a pause because this is where you’re at now and I know a lot of people, maybe they’re sitting at that place where you had a vision but you were too scared to do something with it or you had a vision but you’re like can I really do that? And you needed somebody to come in your life and say like you’re your wife Laura to say, hey by the way, we have a meeting next week on top of Mount Washington and you’re leading it. Tell me a little bit about your leadership journey cause I think it’s going to help some people here because you really do. I love your story. We’ve known each other. I mean you s you have spoken into my life, I’ve even just remember the times that you’ve invested in me. I want to thank you for that. But you know you share your story and it wasn’t like you are the star athlete or you are the star leader. You are in all the, all the classes that acceleration classes. Like tell me your story. Cause I think it can really benefit a lot of our people who are listening to share it.

Doug Smith: 09:47 So, I guess to summarize my story in eighth grade, two things happened to me. One, a friend invited me to a Christian camp where I gave my heart to Christ and for the first time in my life, I felt called into ministry and started going all-in with that. But at the same time my mom had gotten sick, she had a rare nerve disease in her legs, ended up in bed. And so I went from having a normally normal family life to no family life and no boundaries. And as a result of that, serving out the wrong crowd, got into drugs. And I ended up just completely giving up on life. Said I would never amount to anything. I had to go to summer school every single year just to get to the next grade. And I partied every year. I just like, this is the life.

Doug Smith: 10:25 I ended up becoming a drug dealer. My mom had a pill called oxycontin, which is synthetic heroin. And I made money from that, which was great. I thought it was great. And then, but yeah, just pointed out through our high school and senior year of high school, my mom ended up dying and to do that, God came back into my life in a really crazy way and I met my wife, lawyer and I met her because I went to a Bible study and I went to this Bible study that was led by a mom. It was actually my wife’s mom, 150 kids would go to this each week. And what I didn’t realize, well two things happen just for fun. One I left that night and I met, that was the first night I met my wife and I actually went to my high school friends and I said, guys, I just met a woman of my dreams.

Doug Smith: 11:04 I’ve gotten married so I didn’t call my shot. It took me 10 years. But 

Zach Delturco: You have a vision bro. 

Doug Smith: Yeah I have a vision. And I was committed to it, but when I left then I went, I didn’t know where she told her mom. That’s one of the most influential leaders in our high school. And if he ever got intentional with his life, he could change the world first-person again. Multiple people were the first people in my life to see potential in me. I didn’t know. She told her mom that she started her invested in me. As a result, I also had a principal call me and a friend down to the office and he looked at in the eyes, he said, guys, you’re leaders and you can either use your influence for good or for bad, but you’re using it for bad.

Doug Smith: 11:40 I challenged you to do something good with it. We walked away and laughing and just said, can you believe he thinks we’re leaders? And so, but again, as a result of going to the Bible study, I got connected with the church and that’s where I met Larry Bettencourt and I told you, he gave me my first leadership CD, poured leadership into me. And I’m literally, I had, I didn’t know what a leader was. I had no skills whatsoever. In fact, the only reason I said I didn’t even know what an internship was when I started interning at the church. I just thought it was going to impress Laura, which it didn’t. And so I’m doing this internship for free and the only job that I got as an intern was washing pitchers in a, in a closet and setting up and tearing down for youth group and all the other interns got all these cool jobs.

Doug Smith: 12:21 They got to make graphics, they got to mc, they got to speak. And I’m sitting there in a closet, you know, I’m not that bright. I’m like, this is the dumbest thing ever. I’m working for free. This is absolutely worthless. I ended up quitting the internship and but I was so passive aggressive. I waited until Larry left for sabbatical or a vacation. He hadn’t been on vacation for three years. He leaves, the minute he gets on the plane, I sent him an email saying I quit, but he emails me back or he may have called me and he said, Doug, you’re not quitting. If you’re going to quit, you’re going to be a man and quit to my face. And so until I get back, just shut up and show up. And keep working. And so he, and again, I’m a person of faith, so this goes more into this, but he hooked me up with a leader.

Doug Smith: 13:07 This leader said, have you actually prayed about quitting? And I said, no. And he said, why don’t you pray about it and give God one more shot? And this is spiritual, but this is my experience. And I wouldn’t be here if this didn’t happen. I opened my Bible the next day and I said, God if you don’t speak to me, I’m leaving. I’m going back to dealing drugs and doing nothing with my life. This is stupid. I’m not washing pictures for the rest of my life. I ended up reading this verse in scripture that basically said, you are my servant. It says Israel, but I took it as me. You are my serving. You’ll bring me glade glory. And that’s how I felt. I felt like I had a purpose for the first time in my life and that I could do something. But then it said, yet I’ve spent all my strength for nothing and everything I do is worthless.

Doug Smith: 13:45 And I’m like, that’s me. That’s me. I’m not doing anything of worth. And then I said, the next verse changed my life. I said, yes, I will leave my reward in the Lord’s hand, and for me, that shifted everything because I was looking to Larry to give me an opportunity. I was looking for this person and this leader to give me opportunity. And that’s the first time in my life where I felt like God spoke, Hey, you just give me everything you got. If you’ll be faithful and do the best you can, watching pictures, I’ll, I’ll bring your vision of past. I’ll promote you in due season. You just trust me for that. So I shut up. I started watching pitchers and then all of a sudden, by the end of the year, Larry started giving me more responsibility, opportunities to speak. I ended up going to college, which I didn’t think I would buy father-in-law

Doug Smith: 14:24 became a great mentor in my life. And um, and yeah, that was really the start of my leadership journey. It’s very much the journey of an underdog. After college, I ended up in youth ministry and I, I would just say that I’ve continually been positioned under great leaders who helped me go to the next level in my life. 

Zach Delturco: And I think there’s something like a common thing that I say for all throughout all the people I’ve been interviewing, and it’s the power of mentorship. You know, Greg on our last podcast, he talked about somebody investing in him. That’s what your model is all about with L3 Leadership, the power of together, the power of sitting at the table. How do you think that transformed your life? The power of mentorship and how are you paying it forward? 

Doug Smith: Yeah, so it’s been everything I would say if you’re a leader led to two things.

Doug Smith: 15:11 One, if you’re a leader listening to this, never underestimate the power of encouragement. You may not mentor someone one on one on a weekly basis, but you have no idea. Just like my assistant principal, I had no idea. You even just looking someone in the eye and telling them you have leadership potential, you could do something great with your life if you’ll just be intentional, that could change everything. So never underestimate the power of encouragement, even if you’re not in an intentional mentoring process to is. For whatever reason, I had two men, Larry and my father in law pour into me and they saw potential and invest in me. If you are ever lucky enough to have men come into your life and spend it a long period of time with you and investing, you never take that for granted. And if you don’t have that, I would encourage you to look for it.

Doug Smith: 15:52 And I have a whole process I’d be happy to share if you want to go into it. I know how to get mentors, but I think I learned the power of intentionality in relationships through Larry. Larry would bring in leaders from the community to speak to us and he would say, listen, anytime you meet a great leader here from a great leader, take ask them out to coffee and ask them to mentor you. But here’s what I’ll tell you. And he gave us a whole process. He said, show up early, show up on time, shake their hand, come with a list of questions. Don’t come and say I own or what I want to talk about. I just thought it’d be cool to spend time to be intentional. And so I started doing that. I did that for months and months, for 10 years.

Doug Smith: 16:26 And actually that’s how we started the podcast was all my peers started saying, wow, you get to spend time with Zach Delturco. I wish I could say if you’ve ever asked, but I’m so I’m still, what if I record my conversations with leaders? So I would say on the mentoring side, you have to be intentional just in, I would encourage you, if you don’t know where to start, just think about men or women that you look up to and admire and then just be willing to ask them out and let God do the rest of you where it takes. And I think it’s so cool because you know, behind the scenes, talk about the picture of you cleaning, right? You’re picking, you’re cleaning that though all those containers and behind the scenes, that’s what you’re doing. And for so long, that’s what you were doing when it came to your podcast and interviewing people behind the scenes.

Doug Smith: 17:08 And now that you’re in the forefront and all of Pittsburgh, I think your presence is incredible. I think it’s bigger than Pittsburgh, but you know, nope. Nobody saw, those years behind the scenes. All they see is, oh my gosh, Doug Smith, he’s doing this. He’s doing L3 Leadership. He’s doing L3 One-Day he’s working at nonprofit raising millions of dollars for homeless people. Talk about that a little bit because I think some people, going back to that initial thing with Laura, some people are so scared to take that first step. What was it for you that, that kept you going? So you took that first step. We’re encouraging you. Take your first step. What was the thing that kept going? When did you realize your y? I guess that’s my question. When did you realize, oh my gosh, this is what I’m going to do the rest of my life.

Doug Smith: 17:57 I mean, as far as when I realized that, this may sound kind of crazy, but the first time I had listened to that John Maxwell CD, I said, I want to do this for people. I want to do it for the rest of my life. So I would say as far as knowing I want to add value to leaders and multiply and add value to leaders, I knew that from an early age how that would come to play, I didn’t know. And, and again, this goes back to the power of relationships, I think, how you stay the course and how you lodge is you surround yourself with great people. You know, when I was in those learning lunches with leaders, I would share my vision and just say, one day I want to do this. What do you think? Or I would ask them questions about, hey, how did your purpose enrolling, you know, this is coming to mind just now.

Doug Smith: 18:34 I remember I was spending time with Ed Glover, who’s the founder of Urban Impact. And, you know, I’m, I have all these dreams in my heart. I’m like, how’s this going to happen? He said, Doug, you’re probably already doing what you’re ultimately going to be doing, just not at the level you’re going to be doing. And I thought about it. It’s like, okay, I’m interviewing leaders, I’m speaking places, you know, they’re small and the free opportunities, but, and he, and you know, it’s been probably 10 years since that conversation, but I look at it and he’s right, and I’m doing things at a higher level now, but I’m really just doing the things I started doing when no one was watching. And I believe the same thing will be true in 10 years, right? 10 years from now, I’ll probably be doing things at an even higher level.

Doug Smith: 19:10 But it’s because I was faithful during this time. So surrounding yourself with the right people, and even you, you know, the fact that 15 people showed up that night on Mount Washington. And to be honest with you, I was discouraged. You know, I was hoping the whole mountain, but there was 15 people in my father-in-law came in and put his arm around me and he said, Doug, you’re going to look back and laugh at this moment. You’re going to look back and smile and say, do you remember when there was only 15 people? And you know, last year when we had 220 people at our first leadership conference was incredible. Again. Yeah, it was great to look back. I remember our first breakfast, you came to me and you hit on me a check and said, I believe in your vision. I want to invest in it.

Doug Smith: 19:45 I believe in you. Let’s go. You’re the first person I’ve ever invested in out through viewership ever. I’ll never forget that as long as I live. And so surround yourself with the right people. That’s why we are one of our values is community. And you never leave or should never do life alone. So if you’re not connecting with leaders, if you’re not in a mastermind group, you’re missing a huge opportunity for growth and a huge opportunity to gain the courage and confidence you need to launch whatever’s in your heart. 

Zach Delturco: What are some stories for people who are watching? I think we’re kind of narrowing on what we’re talking about that’s developing leaders and the power of, of your circle and mentorship. Give us a couple of testimonies of people who were in your group and kind of their trajectory right now. 

Doug Smith: Yeah. Oh Man.

Doug Smith: 20:24 So I would say the interesting thing, and this shows I guess a little bit of my heart, but for me, I think when I started L3, and even I think when people come down three, they think I want to grow my business. I want to accomplish these goals, I want to grow my career. But it’s funny to me how fast things get personal, right? I always thought that that wouldn’t be the focus. But while that remains a focus for most people for growth, it starts to turn into like, how do I raise a great family? How do I balance work and life and my favorite, excuse me, my favorite athlete story of all time. It’s actually great to hear who you thought on this podcast. He, him and his wife were trying to adopt a baby for years and they couldn’t, they had multiple adoptions falls through.

Doug Smith: 21:04 And literally just as being in our mastermind group, he ends up another, he meets another member of our mastermind group, who by the way ends up being his accountability partner, who by the way, is they meet each week and challenge each other. And they’d been able to accomplish more because of that relationship than they ever could in business. But that other guy just so happen to be in a small group at his church who a member of that small group sister was putting a baby up for adoption and so on. So it short, that baby ended up being the baby that they adopted. And so that’s the sort of our L3 baby, right? Right at first after the baby and he was wearing a nothing leadership, shirt the day he got it. 

Zach Delturco: Wow. 

Doug Smith: And for me that’s what it’s all about. And so I always tell people that you’re one relationship away from changing your destiny and the change of your destiny. It may be growing a business and maybe launching a business and maybe achieving a goal. It may be adopting a baby, it may be better in your marriage. And I’m just surprised how much intentionality with goals spills over in every area of life. And so that’s my favorite part of L3 is you never know what’s going to happen when you start connecting and developing leaders intentionally.

Zach Delturco: 22:09 Yeah. And I want, I want to ask you a question because I think balance is a big idea for a lot of people, a lot of leaders. How do I find balance? You know, there are questions people put on Google like how do I, how do I have a work-life balance? And with you, you, you, you’re talking about one of your most successful stories was based around family,  a successful leader in the Pittsburgh region where he joined this mastermind group. And really it was the biggest accomplishment, I think, up to this point is he, he adopted his kid. 

Doug Smith: Yeah.

Doug Smith: 22:40 And, and while we’re on that, just so in case people were like, Whoa, has it helped his business? He launched a buisness, he quit his job and launched his business as a result of our mastermind group, giving him the courage in college.

Zach Delturco: 22:50 Sorry. No, that’s good. And I guess my question is, I mean, you’re doing this right, you’re doing L3 Leadership, but you also have a full-time job and you also have two kids. So how do you find that definition of balance? Or what is your thoughts on that definition of balance, work-life balance?

Doug Smith: 23:07 Yeah. I don’t think there’s any such thing. I don’t think there, there is no balance. And you, as soon as you get to a point where you feel like something’s balanced, something’s going to shift and throw you out of balance. And so the way Laura and I approached this large, my wife, this is so cliche, but the quote that always comes to mind is actually out of an Eminem song. Eminem said, I’m not a rapper. I’m an adapter. I can adjust the wall and, uh, in that out of you my life. Like that’s how I think Lauren I thrive is we don’t, we don’t set ourselves into this little box and say this is the way it is and always has to be. We’re adapters. And so I guess the best example in the last year is when I took this new role at Light of Life.

Doug Smith: 23:47 Last July and very quickly, my life was out of balance. I just had another baby. I now had this a lot more responsibility in Light of Life or nonprofit. I was, we just had our L3 One-Day Conference. So L3 was thriving and last fall I got underwater where I felt like I was drowning. I felt like Light of Life was separating. I felt like all three were separated. I felt like my family was suffering. And so why? And I just said time out, time out. Like, see, a season’s changed. We were, we’re in a good place, but now we’re out of balance again. So what do we need to do to readjust and make sure that we feel balanced in this new season and for, we made significant changes, for the season, our life. And it’s work now, but we’re not so boxed in that it’s like, okay, this is gonna work. When we have three kids, we realized that we’re just always going to have to be adapting. And so I think when you have that mindset of, hey, there’s never going to be balanced. We always have to be adapting. It sets you at ease cause there’s going to be seasons where you have to go all-in at work, but there’s, then there’s going to be seasons we can go on with family and vice versa.

Zach Delturco: 24:44 Whoever thought Eminem would have such powerful words that would stick to you to this day.

Doug Smith: 24:48 I shouldn’t say this, but I love him. I may listen to him once in awhile when I work out. 

Zach Delturco: I love him too. 

Doug Smith: But you know,

Zach Delturco: 24:59 we were talking about your business. We’re talking about your family. We were talking about, your later life, your nonprofit work. What would you say you’re most proud of out of all three of those?

Doug Smith: 25:14 Those are my choices. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. My family. I mean I couldn’t do anything without my family, my wife. I wouldn’t, yeah, Laura. So I think what’s great about is Laura, Laura and I started dating when I, there was all I was was a ball of potential in lie. I never knew if that potential would develop. That’s probably why it took 10 years to say yes to me. But having a wife, that one is seeing you when you were doing absolutely nothing with your life and is watching you grow and help you grow and believed in you all along. The way to know that I have that bedrock at home enables me to grow at Light of Life enables me to grow at l three to know that when there are seasons where I’m going to have to give more at work than at home and I had to figure out that balance and wires willing to work it out and large just as committed to personal growth. Had I not married the woman I married and had a family, I don’t know that. I don’t know where I’d be and I don’t know if he knew this was happened. So I would say that’s the core and the foundation and enabled the other two. 

Zach Delturco: What would you say, you know, kind of our last question okay.

Zach Delturco: 26:11 Is what would you say to leaders who are just starting out, so say they’re in high school or they’re in college or they never really saw themselves as leaders and they’re older now. Like what are some things you would, would say to those people when it comes to their leadership journey?

Doug Smith: 26:27 Yeah. So this is something I tell myself all the time and it’s actually something that John Maxwell said, but I think it’s so critical. One, if one of you are like me and you, you don’t even know you have gifts and talents and or anything, and you’re listening to this, I would tell you, you have more potential than you could ever imagine. There are gifts inside of you that you don’t even know where any you, and if you’ll just start being intentional with your life and start surrounding yourself with the right people and you won’t be shocked at what can happen in your life five, 10, 15 years from now if you’ll just be consistent day in and day out, day in and day out. So start being intentional. You have the potential, you have everything you need inside of you to do what’s in your heart.

Doug Smith: 27:03 And so start dreaming big. So that would be my advice there. If you start off in your leadership journey and you’re the beginning and I still consider myself there, I would say, John Maxwell said this and he was so helpful. He said, listen, in the beginning of your leadership journey, you’re not as bad as people think. Right? You’re not as bad as we were thinking. And he said, aren’t there days where you just want to tell the leaders around you, like, listen, I know I’m bad, but I’m not that like I’m not that bad. But he said, and this is game-changer, he said, but if you’ll do things right in life, in the end, you’re not as good as people think you are. And somewhere in between there is where you should live. And so I would just encourage the leader, listen, there are times in my journey right now where it’s like, am I, why can’t I just go work at like home depot or like a gas station? Because man, this is tough. Leadership is tough. It’s not, you know, leadership looks sexy on a Ted talk stage, but it doesn’t look sexy in the day today. It’s tough. And so I would just say, you’re not as bad and you’re not doing as bad as you think you are. And if you’ll do things right in the head, you’re not going to be as good as people think you are. And again, just be intentional every day and watch where the journey takes you. I think you’ll be shocked. 

Zach Delturco: 28:07 And I’m going to give you my biggest takeaway of this podcast and then I want to, I want to act on it, right? So my biggest takeaway on this podcast was use your words to encourage people. Like I, that was one thing that stood out to me with that example that just encouraging somebody, your principal teacher looking at you and say, Hey, you’re a leader. That’s words of encouragement. So I wanna encourage you. I know I’m a little bit younger than you, but, I see the leader you are today and I see where you’re going to be and I think you’re going to look back on your leadership journey to this point in the next five years. You’re gonna look back and you’re going to be like, wow, like God has done incredible things and he’s gonna, he’s gonna put you even more on the map than where you are right now.

Zach Delturco: 28:59 So this is, this is for me and you, but five years down the road when we look back and see this, I think you’re going to have a national presence of the go-to leader of this generation. So thank you so much for being on the Center for Victory podcast. I consider you a mentor, a leader who speaks into my life, but also a friend and thank you so much for investing in our listeners. I know we have a lot of young people that listened to this podcast who are still in college and high school, but we also have CEOs and business leaders that, you know, maybe they’re, they’re focused on their work, but they’re not focused on say, their families or the people they surround themselves with. So thank you so much Doug. I greatly appreciate

Zach Delturco: 29:42 it. Any, any last thoughts? Any last words? 

Doug Smith: Yeah Zach, I just want to thank you and it’s been an awesome honor to watch you grow and develop. I asked to remember you when you were at in high school with your long hair playing baseball and had no clue what you’d do with your life to see, to see you take your life and to be intentional and surround yourself with the right people and grow and develop. And men even go through tough seasons where it’s either like, Hey, I’m going to jump to the next level where I’m going to sink. Like you’ve continued to jump. And if your key takeaway is encouragement, I mean that’s just who you are. It’s who you’re in nature is. And when I think about the people that spoke into my life, and when I think about what you’re doing in Riot, you’re doing for others and through Riot, what others did for me, and I can’t wait to see how many young leaders just like myself, have their lives totally transformed and live a life that they never thought possible because you had the courage to start when you’re doing through Riot and you’re encouragement.

Doug Smith: 30:32 So I just want to say love what you’re doing. If you’re listening to this and you’re not connected with Ryan and Center for Victory, please connect with them. They’re unbelievable, man. I just can’t wait to see what God does in your life next 20, 30 years.

Doug Smith: 30:46 Well, hey everyone, thank you so much for listening to the interview with my friends from Center for Victory. Again, they offer a free assessment and free training for L3 members. So if you’re not a member, sign up today, $25 a month and you’ll get your free assessment and free training and if you want to learn more about what Center for Victory does, you can check them out at centerforvictory.com and you can find links to everything that we discussed in the shownotes at L3leadership.org/episode231, As always, if you want to stay up to date with everything we’re doing here at L3 Leadership, you can sign up for our email list on our website at L3leadership.org and you’ll start to receive weekly updates on what we’re doing. You also get a free copy of my ebook Making the Most of Mentoring, which is my step by step process for getting meetings with leaders I know to add value to your life to make sure you get a copy of that.

Doug Smith: 31:31 I want to thank our sponsor Alex Tulandin. Alex is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty and if you looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. As a member and a supporter of L3, he would love to have an opportunity to connect with you. You can learn more about Alex at pittsboropropertyshowcase.com. I also want to thank our sponsor, Henne Jewelers. They’re jewelry owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne. Laura and I got her our engagement and writing rings through Henne Jewelers. And we just think they’re an incredible organization. Not only do they have great jewelry, but they also invest in couples. In fact, they give every engaged couple of book to help them prepare for marriage, and we just love that. So if you’re in need of a good jeweler, check out Hennejewelers.com as always, I like to end with a quote, and I quote Gerald Brooks often, but that’s because everything, the guy tweets is gold. But he tweeted this recently, he said, when life gets harder, we grow bigger. Don’t you just love that? When life gets harder, we grow bigger. Thank you for listening and being a part of L3 Leadership. Laura, and I appreciate you so much and we will talk to you next episode.