Jay Perry is the Founder and CEO of Ally Business Coaching, co-author of Success Manifesto with Brian Tracy, and a certified Birkman consultant. He joins Marcel Schwantes to discuss leadership, communication, and perceptions. This episode is proudly sponsored by Ally Business Coaching. Visit them at
“Leadership is simple in theory but tricky in execution,” Jay says. He defines leadership as helping people towards being the best version of themselves. Before they are able to do so, however, leaders must first be their best selves. They can then transfer the knowledge and guidance they received to those in their care in order to help them work on their varying strengths. [8:22]
There will always be emotional content once there is interaction with people. Jay says that everyone has an optimal state at which they are at their best. The leader’s responsibility is to help people reach and maintain that optimal state. Having respect for each other’s strengths and weaknesses is crucial in building an optimized team. [11:30]
Marcel asks Jay what characteristics people should be looking for in leaders during this time of crisis. Jay responds that communication is essential: leaders must communicate with clarity and urgency, setting the right expectations. [15:25]
There is a prevalence of assumptions during communication: we assume we understand what people mean and their intentions. When someone asks us a question, we stop actively listening when our minds automatically go into solution mode and search for an answer that we assume we have. Additionally, we all have a bias and approach all situations through one perspective, which affects how we interact with others and handle situations. Creativity flourishes when we can control our biases and get to a place of learning. [16:43]
Marcel asks Jay about the obstacles that hold leaders back. According to Jay, ego is a large hurdle that leaders must overcome. Other obstacles include assumption-making, a lack of clarity, and addressing realities instead of perceptions. “A person’s perception is more important than their reality,” Jay says. If you perceive something as a threat, you will behave as if you are threatened. [23:26]
Marcel asks Jay why he thinks some leaders still lead through fear. “We underestimate the power of fear,” Jay replies. It runs deeper than simply holding us back; leaders themselves are fearful of leading through a way that is unfamiliar to them, and so they continue to use fear as a method of leadership. [27:51]
The desired characteristics that the follower group wants their leadership to have include authenticity, confidence, and modesty, and leading by example. Furthermore, leadership must be responsive to change but hold fast to their core values. A good question that leaders can ask themselves as a “self-check” is whether they are making those around them more powerful. [31:12]
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