L3 Leadership Transcriptions: How to be a Life Giving Leader with Tyler Reagin, President of Catalyst

By January 28, 2019Uncategorized, Transcripts

Please enjoy this transcript of our lightning round interview with Tyler Reagin, President of Catalyst. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Tyler,  check out our show notes.


Tyler Reagin: 00:00 If you want to do something now to be ready for when you get handed the keys when you get handed the platform, you get handed the people, you build your character now that’s the thing you can do right now.

Doug Smith: 00:12 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 216.

Doug Smith: 00:29 What’s up

Doug Smith: 00:30 everyone and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well. In today’s episode, you’ll hear my interview with Tyler Reagin. He’s the president of Catalyst. If you’re unfamiliar with Catalyst, they are a leadership development organization, primarily known for their leadership conferences. If you’ve never attended a Catalyst conference, I highly encourage you to get it on your calendar to attend. They’re always phenomenal events and add massive value to leaders and they are a lot of fun as well. And so I encourage you to check them out. Prior to leading the charge of catalysts, Tyler served for seven years under Andy Stanley as a service program director at Brown’s Bridge Community Church. And Taylor’s just a phenomenal leader. And in this interview, you’ll hear us talk about his new book, the life-giving leader. You’ll hear about what he learned from serving under Andy Stanley, what it takes to run great events and so much more.

Doug Smith: 01:18 And so you’re going to love this interview. But before we dive into that, I just have a few announcements I want to let you know that we’re actually hosting our first annual leadership conference in L3 one-day conference on Friday, March 15th at the Marriott here in Cranberry Township. Just 20 minutes outside of the city of Pittsburgh are keynote speakers include Matt Keller, the pastor of Next Level Church in Fort Myers, Florida. Dr. Chris Howard, the President of Robert Morris University, Saleem Ghubril, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Promise. And Kim Fleming, the CEO of Hefren-Tillotson. They’re all incredible leaders. I cannot wait to learn from them. Will also have several other breakout sessions with leaders and panel discussions. This is an event that you do not want to miss and you need to bring your team. And so you can learn more about the conference and registered L3one- day.com.

Doug Smith: 02:02 Again, that’s L3one-day.com. It’s less than two months away. The early bird special discounted rate actually ends at the end of January. So you just have a few days to take advantage of that. So again, visit L3one-day.com for details. I want to thank our sponsor, Alex Tulandin. Alex is a full-time realtor of Keller Williams Realty and if you were looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and he would love to have an opportunity to connect with you. You can learn more about Alex@Pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com. With that being said, let’s dive right into the interview with Tyler and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements. Thank you Tyler so much for being willing to do this interview. And why don’t we just start off with you telling us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Tyler Reagin: 02:44 Yeah. So I’m Tyler Reagan and I’m currently the president of Catalyst, Catalyst has been around about 19 years. A guy named John Maxwell started it, and excuse me, John, as he was getting older, just continued going, I want to make sure I invest the next generation of leaders. And so he did that by creating Catalyst. It was just a once a year event at the time. Andy Stanley had just started North Point Church about probably two, three years before that. And so the first meeting was at North Point, it was about a year long. And then it was once a year and then, it just kinda grew into this thing that’s been 19 years running now and it just continues to impact leaders. And so for me, I joined it about six years ago as a creative director. I worked with Andy Stanley for over a decade at two of the campuses and just fell in love with leadership and the local church. And so, I’ve been married for 17 years. My wife and I have two boys that are eight and 11 and so, you know, they’ve been on this Catalyst journey with me for a while now. And yeah, it’s been a, it’s been a neat journey, but at the end of the day, it really comes back to just loving. I’m loving the church and loving leadership. I feel like they both are super necessary to move the kingdom forward.

Doug Smith: 04:00 Yeah, I love that. And you recently just published your new book life, The Life-Giving Leader, and actually, I don’t know where I heard you talk about this, but can you just initially even talk about what made you actually write the book? I think you mentioned you’ve wanted to write a book for a long time but could never get over that hump. Can you talk about that?

Tyler Reagin: 04:17 Yeah, it was, I don’t know if I’d say I wanted to write a book for a long time. I think it was more of like, am I supposed to? Yeah, because it’s, it’s a pretty serious project but one of the things is kind of one of the final straws. It’s probably what you heard was me talking to a friend who said what if you wrote it just because of your two boys, like if you were to write for them everything you believe about this subject, just do it for them. And that was kind of one of those things like, okay, you know, so that they can hold it and they can have it and give to their kids and you know, just something that gives them my thoughts on a leadership and what that meant, why that matters and what it looks like, you know.

Doug Smith: 04:59 Yeah. I love that. And so I guess before we get into the content of the book, I am curious now that you have the published book, you said it was a lot of work. What advice do you have now that you’re actually a published author to aspiring authors?

Tyler Reagin: 05:10 That’s good. I think it’s more the scariness of the unknown then the reality of the project. It’s nobody is publishing a book in a month. Like it takes time and so everybody’s got some time and, you know, just kinda launching into. And your own style, like my wife’s a planner, and so even as we were kind of looking at deadlines, she was like, well, let’s look at it and see how many words a day you need to write and do this. And I was like, yeah, that’s probably not going to happen because that’s just not how I process. And so I did hit all my deadlines. That was one of my goals, but it didn’t mean that I was prepared for them in terms of those last few weeks every time was pretty crunch time. And so, yeah, I think it’s just realizing that it’s not you, you’re not doing it all at once.

Tyler Reagin: 05:58 And on top of that, if you’re writing a book, hopefully, this is stuff you’ve been talking about, stuff that you’ve been teaching on, stuff you’ve been reading, your caring about stuff you believe in. And so it shouldn’t be that it’s just completely out of left field, you know. Professional authors thought leaders. I mean, they’ll get to a point where they have a thought. Then they go full on into research and doing all the things. But most, most people are going to write one book if they write a book, you know, so we all have something in us that we’ve been teaching for a long time, thinking about for a long time and working on. So, it’s not as scary. It is daunting, but it’s not as scary as it seems.

Doug Smith: 06:34 That’s good. And so let’s just talk about the book. So again, you were running this for your kids. That’s one thing that puts you over and you had one message. So I’m just curious, what is a life-giving leader and why, why this book, if this is your one book, why did you write it?

Tyler Reagin: 06:45 Sure. So originally it was called the color of your leadership painting who you are and how you lead. And it, it came from the idea that it great leaders come into a monochromatic gray, black and white environment and they just bring life. They bring color, they bring vibrancy. You’ve been there before, you’ve seen it, a leader walks in a room that’s a great leader. And people were like, who’s that? Why did the environment feel like, it just shifted or changed and then we just kinda kept going. That’s more of a chapter. What we recognize is there, there’s a posture and one of the things we say at Catalyst for our event weeks is we pray that grace in life flow from us and not be required for us, that we do such a good job, that the grace and life goes one direction.

Tyler Reagin: 07:33 It’s going to the people that we are there to serve. And I realized that great leaders do the same thing, that life flows from them and is not required for them. And again, we all need grace at times. We’re all gonna make mistakes and we do need, you know, occasionally that life’s going to have to flow back to us. But a lot of leaders, that’s the direction it flows all the time because they’re leading at a poor level. They’re not taking care of people there. They’re handling situations badly. So the real thought is which way is life flowing? And, and honestly, most I don’t know anybody that doesn’t want, he doesn’t want to be on a team with a leader who’s bringing life to them, who’s letting life flow to them. And so, that’s really been the concept because, and then the subtitle is Learning to Lead from Your Truest Self, which is going back to the idea that the most life-giving leaders that have been in my life have been okay with themselves.

Tyler Reagin: 08:27 They’ve somehow become connected to their unique wiring that taught that God talks about in Psalm 1:39. And so it’s really difficult to be super life-giving to people when you’re still uncomfortable with who you are in your own skin, in your own wiring, in your own skill set. So it’s just a comment in the book really is just the first parts about that truest self-part. The second part is more practical of once you’ve learned to be a life-giving leader, this is how it can change things. This is what it looks like. This is what it means to be life-giving in this situation or that situation.

Doug Smith: 08:58 So I think when people hear the term life-giving leader, I don’t think anyone would say, I don’t want to be that, but I’m sure there are people out there that think they’re life-giving, but may not be if someone’s kind of in between saying like how do I actually know if my team and the people I interact with daily feel like I’m a life-giving leader? Can they become self-aware around that and even just start to implement discipline in their life to be more like that?

Tyler Reagin: 09:21 Well, I have two thoughts on that. One is also to the people that don’t think they’re a leader because that’s a big deal. There’s a lot of people that would just say, oh, and I think the word leader, I think of other people, but John Maxwell described leadership is influence and how we steward the influence of the two, the 20, the 200 people that we’ve been entrusted to, that is our leadership journey. That is how we make that for every one of us. And so each of us has a responsibility as a believer to, as a Christian, to stay into that space and make sure that we represent something bigger than ourselves in a way that’s honoring to God. And so first of all, I would say everybody is a leader because they have influence. The other part to that is there’s a couple of reasons a lot of people will not ever be life-giving.

Tyler Reagin: 10:10 It’s harder, it requires more from you like it takes sacrifice to be willing to put yourself kind of aside sometimes and serve those around you. But that’s what’s required to be life-giving. You know, and it just, there is a, there’s heavy lifting that has to be done in your own life to be able to pour out and invest in the people around you. And so I think you’re right. I think there’s a lot of people that are going, gosh, that’s, I don’t know if I want to do that. That’s harder. So. But the way you find that out is, I know this sounds crazy, but you asked like, hey, team, I’ve been really thinking about this. Are there now you got to be safe, you’ve got to be smart about it. Is it one on one conversations? Is it a small group of people that you’ve trusted to invest in you, that you’ve invited into that conversation?

Tyler Reagin: 10:59 You know, I’ll be real honest. I feel like I’m in a season right now where it was almost like every other day I feel like I’m not doing great at certain things now. That’s the season, right? It’s one of those things where you. But I’m trying to make sure that every time I feel like I handle something different or manage something incorrectly, that I come back and try to manage it right from that point on. And obviously, try to avoid it, to begin with. But, you know, you have those seasons where you’re just like, I think it’s the difference of I actually really care that I do this consistently and when I hurt somebody or I do some things incorrectly or fail in a way, I want to make sure that I’m not just going, well, that’s just life. But I’m also handling that adversity well. So it’s just kind of, hey, I need to get a gauge from everybody. How’s the perception of, am I doing it like I’m a serving you guys? Are there things, are there blind spots in my life that are keeping life from flowing the right direction?

Doug Smith: 11:57 Yeah. So it sounds like it would be great to be on your team because you actually self-aware and open to that feedback. But I’m sure I have been, I’m not sure if you have been under leaders that weren’t life-giving. Correct. And not open to feedback and not as open. Talk to the leaders listening to this that are under a leader that’s not life-giving, not open to feedback or self-aware at all around the fact that they’re not life-giving. What advice would you have for them?

Tyler Reagin: 12:21 Yeah, that’s a hard one because you know, you find yourself, when you’re in a position of leadership and you have somebody above you who’s not leading. Well, one of the things that, well I’d say two things. First of all, let me, let me give you a little bit of a warning that it’s oftentimes there you don’t understand the weight they’re carrying, the responsibility they’re having. You don’t understand the different things that they know that you don’t know because there’s decisions that they have to make that you would never agree with because you don’t know all the facts. And so young leaders really struggle with this where it’s easy to see what you would do in that position because you’re like, well, I wouldn’t do it. And it’s in a lot of times it’s easy to become cynical towards your leaders because you just don’t know everything.

Tyler Reagin: 13:11 You just don’t know all the pieces. You don’t have the experience. Maybe they’ve got experience in this very thing and they’ve watched it. They did it the way you would have done it. And they watched it backfire or go wrong or whatever. So one thing is just recognizing, gosh, I maybe I don’t know everything and, and that for me comes back from a talk from Andy Stanley that I heard years ago, which is, and we still talk about it to this day, which is trust versus suspicion. When there’s a gap in information, am I going to choose to fill it with trust or am I going to choose to fill it with suspicion even for your bosses, right? When they’re making a decision and I don’t know all the facts, am I going to choose to trust or am I going to choose to be suspicious?

Tyler Reagin: 13:53 Now the best thing to do is get rid of the gaps. So make sure we over-communicate, make sure there aren’t gaps where I don’t have to make that choice. But building a culture where people choose trust is really the only way to survive. Even these downtimes that you ended up having these tough cultural times, you know, these, these potential staff issues or whatever. And so that, to me, it’s, it’s understanding, even as a young leader, how do I lead up, how do I make sure my buddy, Clay Scroggins wrote a book, how to lead when you’re not in charge. You know, it’s that same idea like you’re not in charge, but there’s somebody is even if you don’t like what they do. The other thing I would say is a Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards, where it talks about the three kings.

Tyler Reagin: 14:39 They were all God’s appointed leaders, but they were terrible. Like one was terrible. David was a man after God’s own heart, but he was still terrible in some ways and they’re great and other ways. And then you had apps and. But Saul was horrible. But David knew that it wasn’t David’s responsibility to move Saul out. It was God’s appointed leader, good, bad and indifferent. And so there’s something to be learned about understanding God’s sovereignty and God’s authority. We got puts things in place because it’s not your responsibility to make sure that this person goes down or you move them out, like whatever. It’s how do I lead in this space? And then the last thing I would say, and it’s a long answer, last time I would say if you get to the point that you’re just going, I’ve done all this, I’ve honored I’m sitting in the right seat, this is the wrong spot for me.

Tyler Reagin: 15:27 Then you can leave, it’s okay. It’s okay. And I, I had a situation where I left one time and I just said to the guy, I said, hey, God’s called you to lead this place, but it doesn’t mean I have to stay. You and not you need somebody here that fits better with you and your style and your DNA and that is better for you and this is better for me. So it’s just kind of being smart and being sensitive to the realities of what they’re going through and also trying to make sure you honor yourself and the Lord and what you do.

Doug Smith: 15:59 Yeah, that was a fantastic answer. I want to move on from the book, but for those listening and they’re saying, well, I want to get a copy. How can people connect with you, get a copy of the book and in just promote what you’re doing,

Tyler Reagin: 16:10 You know, TylerReagin.com is his website and then all the social is the same and the catalyst leader is really home base for all of our events and our gatherings and ways for us to connect, you know, so, I would say those are the two best ways. Obviously the books or wherever you can buy books, but yeah, TylerReagin.com. You can sign up for an email newsletter and there are different things that we talk about leadership.

Doug Smith: 16:34 Yeah. So, I want to talk a little bit about your journey at Catalyst. So you came on board six or seven years ago. Prior to that, you were Andy, I’m just curious, and again, it sounds like I didn’t realize you came in as the creative director. How have you had to grown, even stepped into the role you’re in today over the past seven years?

Tyler Reagin: 16:51 I don’t know if we have enough time for that. You know, again, it kind of, you, you’ve probably heard it in that last answer a little bit too, when you’re not, when, when the buck doesn’t stop with you, it’s easy to look up and be like, I could do that, you know, I mean, I’m sure there are great young communicators that sit in church every Sunday and listen, Andy Stanley and go, I could do that. You very well might could do that eventually. His experience, his expertise, his years of doing it, you just don’t realize he, he just unique. He’s got a gift set that skillset and an experience to match that just makes him one of the best in the world, you know. But it’s easy when you’re sitting in the seat to be able to look at that and go, I could do that.

Tyler Reagin: 17:44 And I am definitely guilty of having those thoughts. Not necessarily about preaching like Andy just, you know, the leaders above you and just go in, I could do that, I could do that. And then when you sit in the seat, there are times that you make decisions and you’re just like, gosh, I gave it my best. I prayed about it, I have looked at it every way, I know how. And then as soon as you make it, you have the conversation, whatever that is, you look back and you go, I wouldn’t have done it that way. Why did I do it that way? You know, and we’re all human and we’re trying to lead to the best of our ability at the same time. The reason that you build into people use day in and day out is for those times that you do make those mistakes, those times that you have to make a withdrawal, there’s grace for you.

Tyler Reagin: 18:29 There’s love for you. There’s an expectation that you recognized or you made a mistake, and now you need to move forward with it and you’re going to, you’re not going to wallow in it. You’re not gonna, you know, whatever. So one of the things I’ve definitely been upgraded in is recognizing the weight of the decisions. The voice that opinion carries the weight, the opinion carries the difficulty in leading something in general. For me, by far the biggest upgrade an attention getter for me was running an organization and a business, not, not just the team building or the culture. Like you still got to produce, you still got to execute. You’ve still got to create a product that people are interested in buying. You’ve got all these kinds of things. Well, at the church, not that that was the case, but I had a specific team.

Tyler Reagin: 19:19 We had a specific task and a big part of that task was not the business side of things. It was the creative side of things. It was this. So it was definitely, it’s been a learning curve for sure. When it comes to just organizational leadership, how do you lead an organization from the top down, make sure the business runs well and those kinds of things. So you may have answered this, but I’m just curious how you would word it. If you could have coffee with, with yourself on day one of Catalyst what would you tell that Tyler?

Tyler Reagin: 19:52 That’s a really good question. I would probably say slow down a little bit. Like there’s no rush. Let’s be smart about every decision and let’s take our time. We don’t have to do everything at once and, you know, we, we are making a massive impact. Let’s trust that and not try to continue to like, what’s the next thing, what’s the next like just be smart about scale. Be smart about some of those things because those are hard. Those are hard decisions and you want to make sure you take your time on those. And I think sometimes, I definitely think over six years I’ve, I’ve jumped to one or two conclusions too early and I haven’t jumped to conclusions quick enough in some ways. You know, it’s part of that leadership journey is like, the timing of it. But it just goes back to like priority too because when you speed up at work, a lot of times it up at home, it speeds up the rest of your life and, and I always want to make sure that the priority and the ability to love my kids and my wife and my friends well  matches kind of the pace that I’m trying to go at it at, in my vocation.

Doug Smith: 21:02 So you’ve, you’ve mentioned Andy Stanley several times, I love what you learned from the trust versus suspicion gap. I love that, but I’m just curious. I have to ask for someone who’s had the opportunity to be behind the scenes with him for a long time. What else have you learned from him, in your time under Andy? And in your time under John and whoever?

Tyler Reagin: 21:21 Right? I think one of, even when I was writing the book I realized how many quotes I was putting in there of Andy because it’s like in there. So I was like, hey, I’m just going to have to send it to him and go, hey, is this all the things you would say about how to find you other quotes and, you know, Craig Groeschel is another big part of what we do and I’ve spent a lot of time with Craig and both those two leaders specifically. The closer you get to them, the more you respect them. Just they love their families. Well, they love their kids and their wife, they love their team well, they are men of integrity. They make great likewise decisions because they bring great wise people around them. Um, you know, they’re both unique in their personalities.

Tyler Reagin: 22:07 But that’s what’s fun about it is they’re not trying to be somebody they’re not and, but you know, one of the things that, a couple of things with Andy specifically, he can just articulate principles and thoughts. It just such creative, clear, concise ways and it just, it blows your mind like you have sit there and to create a meeting and you’re hearing, we’re all Kinda like blabber that, and all of a sudden he’s like, well, so what you’re trying to say is do. And you’re like, yeah, yeah, just that, that’s what we’re trying to do. But at the end of the day for Andy, it, we have to lead at such a high level, because we represent God and we have to do that. And so watching him do that consistently, integrity is not an option. You know, making wise decisions is consistently a part of the equation. I can’t even, you know, little things like a message he did for years, still does called is it better to make a point or make a difference and you know, I’ve gone to him a couple times in my own life going, hey, what would you do in this situation? And they were all times where I wanted to make a point and he reminded me that it’s better to make a difference. So that’s another little principle that just, it’s ingrained in me and hopefully in my leadership in life.

Doug Smith: 23:24 Yeah. You talked about the importance of integrity and character and obviously those two leaders specifically, they’re not at their finish line, but they’ve made it pretty, pretty far, pretty well. And I’m just curious what, talk about doing and can you just talk more about that in, in the character development of a lead, we live in a crazy world. Obviously. We see leaders falling left and right, and accusations, all these things. In your experience, what are the best ways to leaders can set themselves up to make it to their finish line

Doug Smith: 23:50 with character and integrity?

Tyler Reagin: Yeah, that’s good. That’s a really important question. I think when I talk to college students, I’m always telling them, if you want to do something now to be ready for when you get handed the keys, when you get handed the platform, you get handed the people, you build your character now. That’s the thing you can do right now. And you start making sure that your yes is your yes. That if you make mistakes, you go back, you own it, you take, you walk with humility and honesty and you just continue to fight for that integrity. Integrity is a choice. It is not a thing that just happens overnight like you have to choose it day in and day out. One of the ways I like to describe integrity is consistency because if, if you and I were talking about the integrity of a bridge, we’re talking about that it is structurally sound that that what you get from the beginning of that bridge to the end of that bridge is consistent that I can expect it to do what I expect it to do and I don’t want to.

Tyler Reagin: 24:50 I don’t mind them having pretty designs on bridges, but I don’t want engineers getting creative with the consistency of that bridge. It’s just not worth. That’s not a place to be. You know, messing around with same goes for leaders. Consistent leaders have integrity that who you act are, who you act like, who you are on the weekends is the same as during the week. You might do different things, but I would, I would hate is that the people at work to see me in a fun environment and go, gosh, who are those two people like or for them to see me with my family and they’re going, that guy never shows up at the office. The guy that shows up at the office is not nice, he just cold and you know, whatever. So for me, a big part of integrity is figuring out who you are and who you want to be in these different environments. So you’re exactly right. And that is every day you wake up trying to make the best decisions to stick within that integrity and that desire of character.

Doug Smith: 25:46 Yeah. I’ve got a giant light bulb just went off. I’ve never thought about just saying what you can do in your twenties is develop your character. I thought that was so good. So yeah, I’m stealing that. I’ll give you a. So with the time that we have left, I just want to dive into what I call the lightning round. Just a bunch of fun questions for lawyers. So the first one is what is a belief or behavior that’s changed? Yeah.

Tyler Reagin: 26:10 Ooh, that’s a good one. I think it, one of them is I learned it from Dr. Sam Chan. He came and spoke to our staff one time and just said if you stress is going to relieve stress is going to relieve itself. Either you choose how to relieve it or it’s going to choose and when it chooses you lose. And so for me, always putting hobbies, something in place, things that even in the busiest of times, things that helped me relieve stress, things that helped me take stress away golf is one of those things for me. Fishing, going outside, you know, watching football, some of these things I can’t let those things go into busy seasons. If anything I need to grab a hold of them and you’re going to feel guilty and you’re going to feel weird, but it’s really important because your stress do not let the stress relieve itself.

Tyler Reagin: 27:01 You have to choose how to relieve it.

Doug Smith: That’s so good. So this is a question I ask later, but it’s somewhat related to your hobbies. Do you have one or two items on your bucket list that come to mind? I just always liked asking leaders what’s on their list?

Tyler Reagin: Well I got to play pebble beach this spring and that was, that was pretty good. That’s pretty high on the list. I would say probably getting over to Scotland and playing the old course and some of them, some of the links courses over there. Even though I’m not a good links Golfer, I’m a better like American golfer. It just lines up better even though I love the look of links courses. So I think those kinds of things, I got to say I’ve gotten to see Machu Picchu twice, which is pretty amazing.

Doug Smith: Did you take the bus now?

Tyler Reagin: We took the, yeah hikes once I got off the bus.

Doug Smith: 27:43 Awesome!

Tyler Regain: And you know, I think for me what it’s, it’s those bucket list things now become part of what I want my family to see. We went to Yellowstone as a family this summer and being from Atlanta, we don’t say anything like that. And it just meant it awoken something in all of us that was just different. And so bucket list things now or what, what can we do as a family? What can we see together as a family? I don’t have many bucket lists for me personally, you know, if, if they are, they’re going to be golf related and maybe this for the dogs to win the national championship. I know that’s crazy, but that’s whatever.

Tyler Reagin: 28:24 I’m still in counseling we’re not talking about it. If you could put a quote on a billboard for everyone to rewrote it’s probably a principal I’ve lived by for the last well over a decade, which is a good process, a good product with a bad process as a counterfeit when and that goes back to the coaching and culture that we want to create, which is if we can just create a great widget or great event or a great product, but nobody likes each other while we get there. That’s not a win. It’s not sustainable and it’s just not a good. That’s leadership is how do we create good process.

Doug Smith: That’s good. What’s the best purchase you’ve made in the last year for $100 or less?

Tyler Regain: That’s a really good question. And the last year man, see you know. It’s probably. Yeah, it’s probably some fly fishing stuff that I got for Christmas.

Tyler Reagin: 29:17 All right. Yeah, that would be it.

Doug Smith Awesome. So other than the life-giving leader would, what books do you find yourself giving away? Most often?

Tyler Regain: Right now it would probably be Craig Groeschel’s Hope in the Dark book that just released about a month ago. I just feel like it’s been super timely for a lot of people and super helpful. And then, you know, Andy’s got a book Next Generation Leader, which is one of my favorites to give away is Simon Cynic’s Leaders Eat Last is one of my favorite books to get away. Yeah, there’s a few out there and that shouldn’t surprise you that there are leadership base because that’s just what I love to talk about and think about.

Doug Smith: Yeah, so, the same question only with podcasts. What are your top podcasts you listen to?

Tyler Reagin: Oh man, I’ve, I’ve really love how I built this or how, how you, how it’s an NPR.

Tyler Reagin: 30:03 I think that’s right. I just love hearing the stories of these men and women who tried the one about, I think it’s James Dyson who didn’t create the official Dyson until his 5132nd prototype or something like that. And so many young leaders just think this stuff happens overnight and it just doesn’t, it. It requires hard work. And so that part. I love that podcast. I’ve always liked Alec Baldwin’s podcast. Here’s the thing, because I think it’s interesting and obviously I love both Craig and Andy’s leadership podcasts. There is a few out there I like to listen to.

Doug Smith: Yeah. What’s your greatest challenge right now?

Tyler Reagin: Oh, there’s too many, too many to list. As we speak, we’ve got Catalyst in a week, so that’s probably at the forefront of that conversation. But just, you know, again, I think the challenge for me for the rest of my life is making sure that the, the target of which I’m shooting and the priorities with which I’m trying to get there, that family and friendships and life aren’t dictated by work that they are a part of that work is a part of that life but not the centerpiece of it.

Tyler Reagin: 31:13 And even work that’s noble even work that has a purpose, I want to make sure it’s in the right place.

Doug Smith: What are you dreaming about right now and what risks are you taking?

Tyler Reagin: 31:28 This is a work related answer, but I’m definitely dreaming about the next generation. I feel like we’ve raised for 20 years. We’ve raised a generation of leaders and the language we’ve used, the methods we’ve used, the processes we’ve used are not going to work for the next 10 years. And so we’re just trying to think. I’m dreaming about what else that could be and the hard thing is you got find time for that because you’re in the middle of everything else. So yeah, I think that’s one. And there was the other about challenges right now.

Doug Smith: What risks did you take right now?

Tyler Reagin: A risk that we’re taking? I think it’s just the risk you take when you change things that people love is critical. Criticism is public opinion, but if it’s so critical that we stay connected to the Lord that our devotional quiet time or prayer time that we feel like we’re being true to what we’re hearing and who we are, that helps us take those risks and, and just, you know, what we’re gonna make some mistakes and yet how do we respond to those mistakes when we make them and then just try to do everything we can to avoid them, you know?

Tyler Reagin: 32:34 But the risk are there when you change stuff that people love. It’s way easier. And I say this, I don’t say it’s easy, it’s just easier when you start something that takes off because there’s no expectation for it. There’s no history with it. There’s no way when you’re trying to change something that has 19 years of history, a lot of people love it, don’t love it, you know, whatever the case may be. It’s just a difficult enterprise because it’s such a public thing and that just makes it really hard. There’s plenty of days, I’m like, can I just not do public stuff for a bit? Can we just, I’m just going to hang out, but you know, that’s part of the job. So I’m being risk averse naturally forces me to get some people around me that help push things forward and go, let’s try this. It’s not a big deal. It’s not a big risk and a, let’s try this.

Doug Smith: 33:26 Do you have a favorite failure that you absolutely hated at the time, but it ended up turning into a valuable lesson or a success?

Tyler Reagin: 33:33 Have lots. I’m such a people person that I would say one of the biggest challenges or failures that I’ve had is I tend to keep. People will stay loyal to people almost to their detriment, not just the organization. And I definitely over my years, my gosh, 18, 20 years now, I would say that I have, I’ve made the mistake of not helping them move into the new season quick enough because it’s good for them because what I’ve learned is when I’ve watched them go to the new season or move them into knowing for months, it was time, I’ve watched them flourish. And so that helps you recognize, okay, this is hard decisions. You love these people, but you’re also going to be paying attention to how you serve them. And part of that sometimes it’s going, hey, we’ve been talking about this for a while, don’t you think it’s time to maybe move into a new season? That’s really hard stuff to do, but if you do it in a loving way, you really care for them and you’re trying to get the best for them. Then a lot of times you’ll realize it’s actually one of the best things you could do for them.

Doug Smith: 34:40 Yeah. I obviously love questions and I’m just curious. So you also get to interview a ton of great leaders. You’re around great leaders. I’m just curious, do you have anyone or two go to questions that it’s like, I have to ask every leader I meet with this

Tyler Reagin: 34:53 Yeah, I just tend to ask them at the end of almost every interview, like if you could tell a 22-year-old, you know, Tyler, something that would save a lot of heartaches and a lot of learning down the road, what would you tell them? Just to answer that for myself, it really goes back to self-awareness, which what we talked about before, my friend Jenny Katrin said the other day that she thinks 90 percent of leadership is self-awareness because you get to lead yourself if you don’t know yourself. And that’s really what the book was about too. It’s just got to become comfortable and know yourself. You can’t become comfortable with yourself if you don’t know yourself, you know. And so, self-awareness is so critical for good leaders and it adds to it. It’s base line for founded a foundation for emotional intelligence and so many other areas of our life. So that’s the question I tend to ask why, what you’re,

Doug Smith: 35:46 I love it. Outside of your family, which should be obvious, what’s the most worthwhile investment of your time and money as a leader?

Tyler Reagin: 35:54 As a leader, is my friends. I have a chapter where I talk about healthy leaders and, you can show you because you asked the question about how do you stay in this thing in a sense for the long haul, you better have good friendships. Like I know a lot of older leaders that just don’t have any close friends and they’ve gotten a, not, not all of them, but they definitely, it’s hard when you get, you get lonely and you make bad decisions and you’ve got nobody in your life going, hey, what are you doing? And so for me, anything I can do to make sure that those friendships stay intact, they feel cared for, loved. It’s a reciprocating friendship, you know, I need them. My one of my best friends for the last 20 years, his dad took his life a few weeks ago and it was heartbreaking, but to be at the funeral together and to see this group of friends who were, we’ve been through, but we looked up and realize the four of us had been together in the same room in four years. Like life just happens, right? We keep in touch and then, but it’s just friendships matter and I don’t want to build something great and look around and have nobody around it, you know. And so, including my family but also my friends. So I think that’s big, just, it’s worth every penny and every minute.

Doug Smith: 37:12 And so one day, closely related to that, what do you want people to remember about you? What do you want your legacy to be when people think of your life?

Tyler Reagin: 37:20 You know, and this, I’ve said this a few times in the last few weeks on my tombstone, I don’t want the word Catalyst Northpoint author. I know. And in none of those accolades titles, you name it. I want husband, father, friend, that’s it. If I can do those three things my whole life, you know, and that, that they can say that I’ve stayed faithful to my faith and to Jesus through that whole time. I’m good. I’m good.

Doug Smith: 37:48 Yeah. I’m with ya. So it’s a close, I’ll just leave this open-ended. Anything you want to leave leaders with today?

Tyler Reagin: 37:55 Yeah. I think it just goes back to that, that thing that, that great leadership is harder and just it’s like it’s. But things of value require sacrifice because they matter and trying to do the right things, trying to make the best decisions, trying to honor people as you make that, even though times it’s hard, it’s worth it because each of them carry, they are, they are. You’re coming face to face with the Creator’s design. You’re coming face to face with somebody that was made in the image of God and we say to a team all the time, we’ll say it next week. Nobody is an interruption to our day. Everybody exists because they are. Why our day there, like they are the reason we do what we do. And so just remembering that every day as hard as that is at times because you’re frustrated and you’re like, oh my gosh, the drama of people is worth it. And you know, there are days I wake up and I have to tell myself the same thing, you know, so leadership’s hard, but it’s worth it. It’s better.

Doug Smith: 38:57 Hey, well thank you for being faithful to the call on your life or leadership. Appreciate is making a difference worldwide. And thank you for taking time to invest in me and everyone that will listen to this.

Tyler Reagin: 39:05 Yeah, thanks for having me.

Doug Smith: 39:08 Hey everyone, thank you so much for listening to our interview with Tyler. I hope that you enjoyed it. You can find key takeaways and links to everything that we discussed in the show notes at L3leadership.org/episode216. I want to thank our sponsor, henny jewelers. They’re a jeweler, owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife Laura, and I got her engagement and wedding links through Henne Jewelers. And we just think they’re an incredible organization. Not only do they have great jewelry, but they also invest in people, in fact, they give every engaged couple of books to help them prepare for their marriage which we love. So if you’re in need of good jeweler, check out Hennejewelers.com, you can also stay up to date with everything we’re doing here at L3 Leadership by signing up for our email list on our website. When you sign up, you’ll get a free copy of my ebook, making the most of mentoring, which is my step by step process for getting in, cultivating mentoring relationships with leaders.

Doug Smith: 39:53 You also get consistent emails with tons of great resources and ways for you to grow as a leader. So make sure you sign up for that. And we would appreciate that. That’s the best way to stay up to date with everything we’re doing. And as always, I like to end with a quote. And today I will quote Gerald Brooks, who I quote often because I love him. He’s an incredible leader. If you’re not following him on twitter, I highly encourage you to. He also has a leadership podcast that I’d highly recommend, but Gerald Brooks said this, he said, “Making money is not the same thing as making a difference. Making money is not the same thing as making a difference” and I think as leaders we need to be reminded of that often. So thank you so much for listening and being a part of L3 Leadership. We appreciate you so much and we will talk to you next episode.