Podcast

Episode: 266 |
Jon S. Rennie:
Submarine Leadership:
Episode
266

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Jon S. Rennie

Submarine Leadership

Show Notes

Jon S. Rennie is a former nuclear-trained submarine officer with more than twenty years of experience leading industrial businesses.

Jon is the co-founder and CEO of Peak Demand, a global manufacturer of electrical transmission and distribution components.

He is also the author of I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following.

In this episode, Jon shares a perspective on what it means to be a leader in the age of the coronavirus.

Learn more about Jon on his website: https://jonsrennie.com/

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

Will Bachman 00:01
Welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional Unleashed is produced by Umbrex, which connects you with the world’s top independent management consultants. I’m your host Will Bachman. And I’m so excited to be here today with john Rennie, former nuclear trained submarine officer and who has been the leader of multiple manufacturing companies, and is also the author of I have the watch filled with leadership lessons from his time in the Navy and in corporate America. JOHN, thanks so much for coming on the show. Tell us a little bit about your thoughts on you know, leadership here in the time of the Coronavirus. What, what are some of the kind of the key the key things for leaders to keep in mind?

Jon Rennie 00:50
How well, it’s great to be here. Yeah, no, it’s a great question. We’re in the midst of a crisis. And we’re dealing with things that we’ve never dealt with before. And I run a manufacturing business called peak demand out here in North Carolina, and we are operational right now. So, but we’re dealing with, you know, concerns with health and, and the welfare of our employees. So it’s been kind of a unique world, we’ve been trying to watch what’s happening with, you know, with our industry and, and you know, whether or not orders are going to slow, but we’ve also been trying to keep everybody safe as we’re responding to our customer requests. So it’s an interesting time. But, you know, the one thing I’ll always say is that, where there’s crisis, there’s opportunity. And so we at least in our company, we’ve been looking for ways that we can help our customer base, you know, for example, a lot of our a lot of the technical people inside of the electric utilities around the country, they go to these meters schools, and there’s a bunch of them that are held in the early part of the year, well, all those got cancelled. So what we’ve been doing is we’ve been providing virtual meter schools for all of our customers, and the customers, the technical people really like that. So it’s a way that we can sort of continue life as normal, but doing in a virtual way. And that’s been pretty helpful.

Will Bachman 02:11
So peak demand you manufacture electrical transmission and distribution components. Tell us give us a little kind of a virtual tour of your factory and and what sorts of steps you’ve had to take to keep people safe here during the pandemic.

Jon Rennie 02:26
Sure, yes, we’re a designer and manufacturer of electrical products, products that are used by utilities on the distribution side, and also the transmission side. And during this crisis, of course, the electrical utilities have to continue providing power. So we were considered a critical manufacturing business. So we’ve stayed in operation, but that of course provided a challenge. How do we keep our employees safe? Are people safe during this time? And so it’s just you know, provided a couple of unique challenges. One is just how do we keep the facility clean and so we’ve been doing before and after shifts, we’ve been wiping down everything with Lysol, disinfecting, and, you know, you know, doorknobs and any any any door anything where people were touch, we’re cleaning that we’re doing social distancing, making sure that everybody stays far apart. And I think we’ve been, we’ve been really sensitive towards spectin special needs of our employees. During this time, for example, we have some employees whose spouses are in the medical industry, and they’ve had to change to certain shift work. And so we’ve been able to do flexible hours with our employees, as they’ve needed it during this time, as well. So it’s just a matter of good housekeeping, social distancing, and being flexible, you know, during this time, but I think the other thing is, I personally and from a leadership standpoint, been spending a lot of time with my employees, making sure that they’re okay at home. And they’re, they’re, you know, they’re able to handle, you know, what’s going on with their families and making sure they have everything they need as well. I mean, just as an example, I was able to commercially buy toilet paper. And so I bought a number of cases of toilet paper and I just gave to my employees. I said, Take what you need, you know, we’ll buy more, if you need it. So I think just trying to be there for employees during this time as well.

Will Bachman 04:26
That is awesome. Tell me a little bit more like other kinds of examples like that. And I saw how you I think you mentioned about the environment buying just needed supplies, like toilet paper that might not be available in stores? What are some other things that you’ve done?

Jon Rennie 04:44
Yeah, I think um, one of the things I’ve talked about a lot, you know, I do I talk a lot about leadership on on my Twitter page and in articles I’ve been writing and I’ve been talking about the importance of face to face communication during this time, because you You know, in a crisis, people look to their leaders for a shelter, right, they look for, for the leaders for answers like a lighthouse, right in the storm. And I think that, you know, what I’ve been trying to do is just be that that lighthouse, that shelter for my employees, right. So I don’t necessarily have all the answers. I don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow or next week. But, but I’ve been trying to kind of be, you know, keep calm during this time, right? And not panic, but also be authentic with my communication. So making sure they they know that yes, I don’t, you know, it’s okay to say, I don’t know, right? What’s going to happen with, with our industry? Well, I don’t know. But here’s what I’m seeing so far, right? And just being able to answer those questions, and be authentic, but also be calm during this time. So I’ve really tried to spend an extra amount of time with my employees, I spent time on the shop floor, just asking how things are going, you know, or, you know, how are their children because a lot of a lot of them, you know, their their children are home now. And they’re trying to do homeschooling. So I’ve just tried to be that empathetic leader. And I’ve kind of turned that on. And, you know, I kind of turbocharged that during this crisis, because I know, you know, there’s a lot of, you know, people are unsettled right now. And I think having having a boss who cares about them and is looking out for them, I think is I think they need that right now. So I’m trying to be that boss.

Will Bachman 06:27
Yeah. What sorts of when you when you have those conversations, what sorts of things are you hearing from people?

Jon Rennie 06:35
Well, I think, to be honest, the the concern seemed to be, you know, easing a bit, we’ve kind of gotten into this new normal now. But yeah, there was a, it was pretty scary there for a bit, we didn’t know, for example, if we would be shut down, and we would have to lay off employees, we didn’t know, if the utilities would just stop purchasing product. And we would, you know, we would go dark for you know, six, eight months, we really are six, eight weeks, we didn’t really know what, how this was going to affect our business. So there was a lot of angsting concern in the early days. But I think we’re kind of settling into routine now where we’re, you know, we’re, we’re definitely not the same as we used to be, we’re being a lot more flexible with employee hours. And, you know, what, we’ve had some employees where they’re there, they’ve, they’ve had to take time for their children to get set up and or their spouses to get set up from home. And, you know, they’ve had that had extra had to take extra time off. So we’ve just tried to be there and to make sure that they can do what they need to do to get set up. Because if they’re settled at home, then they can come here and be much more effective as employees, right.

Will Bachman 07:45
Yeah. And in a manufacturing facility, have our folks wearing you know, masks, other kinds of peepee gloves, that kind of thing.

Jon Rennie 07:55
Yeah, so that’s really up to the employees choice, we have a couple of employees that that are wearing masks. And then we do have masks available for everybody. So in case they want, and we are supplying gloves, and so there are a couple of employees wearing gloves as well. But all that’s available, but it’s a I would say volunteer use right now.

Will Bachman 08:17
And then I imagine you How are you kind of doing any kind of temperature checks or other kind of screening employees or, or, you know, making plans if someone does test positive like, deal? how you respond to that?

Jon Rennie 08:34
Yeah, no, so we’ve we’ve thought through that process, if someone does, you know, get sick, but so what we’re no we’re not taking temperature, but we are we you know, we everybody’s sort of on high alert to see if any, you know if they have any symptoms or what have you, we had one our employee it was on a Friday, and he an over the weekend, he was starting to get sick. Well, what it was it was allergies, as it turned out, but he just called me right away. And we were gonna shut down Monday until we knew what was going on in terms of turnout, it was allergies, but so we’re sort of everybody is kind of really super sensitive right now. And just on high alert for any sort of cough or you know, any, any sort of sign that there’s some something wrong. So we’re on kind of eggshells right now. So

Will Bachman 09:23
yeah. So let’s talk about your book a little bit you, you were in the Navy, but about the same time as me. And then you’ve had a series of jobs at a lot of industrial companies, including ABB where my dad actually worked for ABB as Oh, wow. Yeah. And leading leading operations. What, what led you to write the book about leadership?

Jon Rennie 09:48
Yeah, that’s a good question. I, you know, I did five years in the Navy as a submarine officer, and then I got out and I went right into working in this space. supplying products to electric utilities. So I worked in corporate America for 22 years. And I led eight different manufacturing plants during that time. And I think at this point in my life, I started my own company. You know, five years ago, I started my own manufacturing company. But I think at this point in my life, I feel like I want to pass on the wisdom, I want to teach people, things, I’ve seen things that I’ve observed. I mean, one of the things that you see in the statistics show it that still, we’ve got about 70% of employees around the country that are disengaged at work, right, that they’re there, they’re not plugged in, they’re not working and are given 100 100% to their, their companies. And so I really felt like, you know, I have seen some of the reasons why that is, I’ve seen, you know, the leadership that exists in corporate America, and it’s in its poor at best. And so I think I wanted to share my, you know, my experiences with the next generation of leaders coming up. So we can change that, from 70% engaged, or from 30% engaged to 70% engaged, I really would like to see that change. And I think it all, it all comes down to leadership and leading people effectively, is what’s going to change the level of engagement doozy as an employee, so I think, you know, it’s a matter of trying to pass on, you know, things I’ve learned.

Will Bachman 11:23
Yeah. And your book is, is a series of, you know, quick, hard hitting, you know, the shorter essays, right, it’s not a long book are a little over 100 pages. And you told me that you originally wrote these as a series of essays, where were you publishing these initially, where they kind of blog posts or, you know, for your own employees? Or what, where, where did they come out of?

Jon Rennie 11:47
Yeah, I started, I started writing a, basically a blog six years ago. So I have a leadership blog, on my website that I started writing. And I did, I contributed to a number of different websites, wrote leadership articles. So these are all articles I’ve written over the past six years, and sort of, I’ve written on all sorts of different different subjects. But this book specifically deals with the leading people and, and dealing with the people side of business. So there’s all sorts of sides to leadership, you know, there’s strategy, there’s vision, there’s mission planning, and there’s so much of the hard skills, this one’s more of the they call it soft skills, but in my opinion, they seem to be hard for leaders to be able to do so there are soft skills that are, it’s common sense, that’s uncommonly applied, I guess, is the way I would describe what’s in this book, it’s the things that we probably should be doing. But we’re, we’re we’re too busy sometimes as bosses to be able to, to be able to do it. So all these are all these essays and articles were ones that featured the best ways to lead people. From a leadership perspective,

Will Bachman 12:58
you have a chapter in here about doing something memorable, or you know, in some group celebrating an employee, tell us a little bit some of the ideas around around that around, you know, really showing someone that you care about them.

Jon Rennie 13:11
Yeah, I mean, it’s just, you know, first of all, I mean, it’s not that hard to, to be, you know, to be an authentic leader, to spend time where your people are, and to have a conversation with them, and to have an authentic relationship with them. And so part of that is just celebrate celebrating them and thanking them when, you know, when they’re when they’re doing something, you know, I the other day, I remember going out in the shop floor in my head of engineering was out there drilling parts. And, you know, I could have just walked by, but, you know, I was curious, why are you drilling parts and, and I talked to him, and he says, you know, well, these all came out came in wrong, but I figured I could modify them, we could still use them stay in production. He didn’t have to do that. But he, he did it. And he did it, because he cared about the company cared about our customers. And, you know, that’s one of those things where, you know, I said he had to stop and EPA, thank him, and you have to really just really appreciate him as a person as an employee for, you know, showing that initiative. So, I think we miss out on those opportunities, sometimes as leaders because we’re sequestered in our office or in a conference room or on conference calls. And we we don’t get a chance to see our people face to face in action. Right. And so we got to look for those opportunities to, to see our employees kind of, you know, doing great things, and we have to appreciate it, we have to show that appreciation. So, but part of it is just having that being present. And, and and, you know, keep an eye out for the things that are going right. You know, we tend to always focus on the things that are going wrong. As bosses we got to look for when, when employees are doing the right thing as well.

Will Bachman 14:46
Yeah. And so that celebration is important, and what are some of your ideas around making that celebration, truly memorable?

Jon Rennie 14:56
Yeah, you know, I think, um, you know, treasure toe It is I would say this, if you walk around your office, wherever you’re at, well, right now, probably everybody’s at home. But if you can imagine when you were in the office, if you walk around to look at people’s desks, you see treasured tokens of their, of their career, right, and things that are on their desk that, that have meaning to them, right, they were part of some team, or they were part of some major achievement, right? They keep those like, like, like, treasured, like trophies of their, of their life in their career. So when I like to, when we have big events, or something that significant happens, I do like to do something, you know, we might have a big dinner or a big luncheon or what have you. But then I’d like to give employees something. And you know, as an example, we, my manufacturing business, we celebrated our first year, and the first we had 10 employees, they were the first 10. And they will never be, you know, there will only be those 10 employees, they were the they were the foundation of this business. And so we I took rocks that basically river rocks, and we had carved into that the company logo. And, and just and we basically and it said, I’m sorry, it was first nine employees, not 10. For the fact we put the founding nine, so they were the founding nine employees of the company. And it was kind of neat, because each rock was different, right? But each so it represented two things. One is that is that each employee was brought a unique gift to this business, right? They were as part of the early employees, the first nine employees. And, and they also built the foundation for the business. So that was kind of a you know, kind of a memorable thing. And then that rock is just a rock, but you you walk around the offices, and those guys are really proud of that being part of that founding nine employees. And it’s something that we’ll never we’ll never give that out ever again. But it’s something that, you know, is sort of a treasure token of, of their history, you know, they’ll looked at that fondly of Wow. Yeah, that was a tough time during those. during that first year when we had you know, when we had nothing, we were trying to create things out of nothing.

Will Bachman 17:10
Yeah, that’s pretty cool. That reminds me from from my Navy days, you probably saw the same thing where when they did an overhaul and did a big hole cut that folks that were involved in that, you know, they gave out plaques that had a little chunk of the hall on Yes, to the plaque. And I got on board is a little too late. I was jealous of those guys that had this stupid hunk of like whole metal.

Jon Rennie 17:36
So that Yeah, so that’s it. So that so you just touched on it what you know. So, you know, if you give something like that, as a token, you it actually affects other employees as well. So the employee that gets the reward, they’re like, Wow, that’s really nice, thank you, you know, something, always remember, but then other people see it too. And they want to be part of it. You know, for example, we, in one company we were doing, you know, we were training Six Sigma black belts, and, and every black belt got this. I don’t know how to describe it. But this this little thing that we put on their desk, it just says that we’re Six Sigma Black Belt. And you know, other people would say, Well, I want one of those things, too, you know, and they sort of see that and they want to say, Well, I want to be a part of that as well. So when you when you celebrate employees, when you when you thank employees or reward employees, other people see it as well, too. And they want to be a part of that as well. So yeah,

Will Bachman 18:26
you have a chapter in here, which really resonated with me about leading experienced employees, because that’s one of the toughest things as a junior division officer. You get aboard the ship, and you’re put in charge of reactive controls division or machinery division, you got this chief who’s been around for like, 30 years. And even all every enlisted guy in the division has more experienced on board than you and you’re expected to lead them. What were some key lessons learned about leading people that are more experienced than you are?

Jon Rennie 18:59
Yeah, yeah, that’s that’s like, that’s a great thing that you touched on. Yeah, it’s it’s really important. So how do you do it? So when you when you’re in a situation where the people working for you, the senior enlisted, the chief petty officers got as many years in the Navy as you have on earth? How do you deal with that? Right? And I think it comes right down to a few things. One is you have to listen, right? You have to listen and observe, you can’t pretend that you know all the answers. So it takes so you’ve got to spend time, spend time with your with your experienced leaders, you have to listen to them. You have to, you know, zurb how they’re acting, you know, the kind of questions they’re asking what’s what’s, what’s important, what’s not important. So it’s, it’s having that respect for all of that experience, all of that knowledge and making sure that you tap into it and that you, you know, you listen and you and you take action on the things that you know that that you’re hearing from Then, but the other side of it is, is that you are in a unique position you have been chosen that as the leader, you know, whether or not you have experience or not. And there are some things that only the leader can do. So on on the submarine, for example, you were the interface with, with the, you know, with the engineering, you know, with, you know, with the department head, right, so you, you were that air interface with, with upper management, if you will, or the higher ranking officers. And so you, you were that interface, so that, you know, your Chief Petty Officer didn’t go to the engineer, right, you went to the engineer, you had to, you had to get the permission, or you had to get the approvals and what have you. So, I think it’s a matter of doing the things that only the leader can do, making sure that you do those things, but also having that respect in that. And, you know, and making sure that you’re, you’re talking to your key people in your experience people and you learn from them. So I think if you’ve got to kind of balance those things out. But if the the guys that had the biggest trouble, were the ones coming in saying that, you know, acting like they knew it, all right, and they had all the answers. And that’s just a recipe for disaster. So you’ve got to rely on your experience paper, you got to show them respect, you got to defer to their experience. But then there, you’ve got to act as a leader, you have to do the things that only the leader can do.

Will Bachman 21:23
Yeah, my editorial comment on that is that the same principle applies for consultants, when you’re working with a client, I’ll see a lot of people who want to get on the phone with a client, and kind of tell them okay, well, this is my approach. As opposed to, I think someone who is maybe even more confident and more comfortable will, maybe more vulnerable will ask the client Well, hey, how do you, you know, what’s your mental model for how this project should go? What, you know, what are you looking for? How, what do you think needs to get done? And just kind of put it in them? And not trying to be the person who have the answers, but but to listen more to what the clients have to say, you know, as opposed to trying to walk around like, Oh, I know exactly what to do. I have all the answers. So it’s sort of the same principle. And I’ve tried to, you know, apply in my consulting work, what that that experience from being a division officer and realizing I’m clueless compared to this master chief? Yes,

Jon Rennie 22:25
yes. No, it’s really good. I can tell you when I first got my first manufacturing plant at 32 years old, I had employees that had been there 30 years. And, you know, so I was fortunate that I had that experience as a young junior officer to be able to practice those skills, because it came natural to me when I when I was in that situation and in corporate life, is that. Yeah, I I, you know, I learned I didn’t know, I didn’t have the answers, but I do. I did have really good people who didn’t know the answers, right? It’s just me, you know, plugging into that knowledge base, and doing in a respectful way.

Will Bachman 23:07
So you’ve got another book coming out and talk to me a little bit about you said, you know, before we started the show here, you told me that this, this book was a little bit of a kind of a practice of a warm up. Tell me about what it was like going from the essays that you had published to actually really pull it all together and make it a beautiful finished product that was ready to put put, you know, for sale on? How did you kind of what did you learn from that? And and how did you actually go about doing it?

Jon Rennie 23:34
Yeah, sure. Yeah. So I’ve been working on another book for about two years. And that should, should be out this year. But as I was in the middle of working on that book, I made a decision to pivot and to put out something smaller, for a couple of reasons. One is, I had never published a book before, so I needed to learn the entire process. But the other side of it is, I wanted to get my name out there, right. So I wanted to have something that that, you know, people knew who I was, and, and they had something they could, you know, kind of understand my leadership style from that first book, before I came out with a second book. So I stopped what I was doing on the big book, and I and I pivoted towards putting out the smaller book. And, and again, this is something really important for maybe all of your listeners is, you know, I think it’s really important for entrepreneurs and independent people is that you got to repurpose, right, you’ve got to repurpose what you already have. And I had written so many articles, articles, hundreds of articles. And I said, you know, there’s some that are really popular, some that have resonated with a lot. Can I put that together? Can I can I build, you know, one book that has a theme through it that maybe are different essays, or different short stories, but have a general theme. And so that’s what I did, I took sort of every article I’d written about sort of leading people, you know, the people centric kind of, you know, leadership essays I had written and I put put that in a book and I sort of sort of plan how it would flow and what have you. But yeah, just putting all the stuff I already had together. And then of course, I connected with people that had written books before, and learned a little bit about the process about, you know, what do I need to do with regard to editing and typesetting? And, you know, all the fun stuff. And this is an independently published book. So it’s published through through Amazon and learning that whole process, and, you know, I’m doing an audible book and all that fun stuff and the Kindle version. But yeah, so I, so I learned a lot through the whole process and met so many amazing people, especially I, I talked to a lot of veteran authors, people who are military veterans, and published books and got a lot of insight from a lot of different people before I put the book out. So yeah, so it’s a good experience. And, you know, as an older, you know, as 50, I think, is 51 when the book came out, so, you know, it was like an old dog new tricks, right. And that’s, and you know, anyone can do it at any age, you can learn this process, it’s pretty straightforward. And I would say this is that it’s never been an easier time to publish a book, right, that the tools are there. You know, you can learn them. You know, YouTube is a wonderful tool to learn things. Yeah.

Will Bachman 26:26
So walk us through some of those tips. So you, let’s say that you’ve had you had all the essays, right, yes. And you, you selected from the hundreds that you’d published. Okay, here’s my set, you put them in order? And then walk us through the very practical steps of what sort of other people did you get involved in the process, like a copy editor, someone to do all the formatting, very nicely formatted book? You know, did you have someone to design your cover? Like, what were the different people that you had to get? What were the steps to go from? I have a bunch of essays written to Okay, now I have a book on Amazon, what were the steps to get from A to B?

Jon Rennie 27:03
Yeah, so um, in my case, I, I did, I did talk to a gentleman who does business book coaching. He’s, he’s actually a ghost author, as well, but he also coaches, business people towards writing nonfiction books. And so that that was, so he helped me coach me a little bit about you know, he’s the one that helped me make a decision to to pivot and put the smaller book out. So I would say, getting some outside advice from somebody that might have some experience in publishing, is you probably want to have that conversation. And I think that the main things he pointed me towards was having, you know, a consolidated, you know, because I had a lot of essays, but he was helped me focus in on consolidating around a certain theme, in our case, it was leading people. But I think the other thing he helped me with was, you know, what do you have that’s unique in the world? What are you that is unique from everybody else in the world? And he’s like you, he said, there very few people who, like you have been a Submariner and then led businesses, you know, as long as you did, plus having your own business, he said, he said, if you don’t put a submarine on that cover, I’ll be mad at you. And I’m like, well, it’s not a book about seven legs. He’s like, Yes, I know. But if you don’t put a submarine on that cover, I’ll be mad at you. But the point being is, focus a cover design is really important. So you’ve got to get a good, you know, cover design artists. You know, don’t judge a book by its cover, I’m sorry. We all judge books by their cover, and the cover is really, really important. So I think, you know, getting the right cover, you know, that’s going to be critical. So, so getting getting some help in terms of, you know, focusing the book focusing what you’re going to write, and there’s a great resource, by the way, it’s called the business book Bible is name of the book that I read. And I think it’s what it’s called. And that is an excellent resource for how to write a book. And, yeah, here it is. It’s called the business book, Bible, everything you need to know to write a great business book. And that’s written by Derrick Lewis. And Derek actually was the guy, the gentlemen I mentioned that that kind of coached me through my first book. So I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about writing a book to read this book first because it talks all about the kind of things you’re asking me about, like, you know, how do you do typesetting cover design, fonts, things like he talks about the the white ladder or, or the white waterfall and that’s when you’re looking at final print. If you have you know, it has to look good. So when you start see these gaps in your in your print, it’s Actually distracting. So you’ve got to make sure that if you have a good typesetter, they’ll, they’ll know to eliminate those white ladders and those white waterfalls. So it’s, there’s sort of a little bit of an art to typesetting and printing that I didn’t know about. And if you got to get a good typesetter, you got to get a good cover designer, you have to have an editor, for example, I have, I was put in touch with a editor that was a retired school teacher, she’s amazing. She, she found things I wouldn’t even thought of, you know, commas and you know, tenses of verbs and you know, things like that. So, we tend to as professionals, right, we’re, we know, our craft, but writing in English is always a challenge. I’m an engineer, right? So writing is always a challenge. And so she found things that I wouldn’t have seen myself. So making sure you have a good, you know, number set of eyes on it. The other side of is get some good reviews that you can, you know, you know, reach out to a number of people get as many, you know, blurbs if you will, so reviews that you can put in the book itself, that’s really important to have on the cover and the inside cover just people who have reviewed the book and looked at the book. So I tried to get it out to as many CEOs that I knew that they could review it and give me feedback before we publish it. So yeah, I think there’s a lot there’s a lot of steps but that that the business book Bible, I would highly encourage people to look at if they’re thinking about writing a book.

Will Bachman 31:27
Fantastic, great tips. what it sounds like, you’re pretty you know, you love running the your, your your firm peak demand, what? How do you see the your ongoing writing? You have a new book, like you mentioned, a larger one coming out? Are you planning to kind of have a second, you know, side career doing some consulting or speaking or teaching? Tell us about that a little bit?

Jon Rennie 31:57
Yeah, so um, yeah, it’s like a side hustle on my main hustle, I guess. Yeah. So my main thing is I started, like, sort of manufacturing business, that’s my, that takes up, you know, whatever, the 60 hours a week. And then then my free time, I do, you know, I’m writing this book, I’m, I do a podcast, that I do a leadership podcast called Deep leadership, where I interview, you know, entrepreneurs, leaders, about, you know, what makes a great leader. And it’s been been a lot of fun to meet people through that. And I’ve been speaking a lot I speak to mostly grad school, usually MBA or, or, like engineering, management, or masters in engineering programs. So I’ve been talking with leadership to, you know, mostly regionally, here. And then I also talked to local business leaders about leadership issues. So, for example, I just put on a series of webinars on how to lead through a crisis. So we’ve been presenting that to a few different groups of business leaders here in North Carolina. So yeah, so it’s, it’s more, it’s more for fun. It’s, I’ve really enjoyed it and joined, sharing my sharing my experience and helping others and, you know, I’ve done I help a lot of young leaders, mostly veterans transitioning out of the military, I try to help them get it to get their career started with advice, you know, things, things to do to kind of get getting, you know, get get their careers going into the civilian world. So I’ve been trying to help there, but it’s mostly for fun, mostly, I’m trying to help trying to share my experiences.

Will Bachman 33:34
Yeah. And have you found that, you know, sort of the, the surface, you know, kind of goal may be just be sharing insights. But have you found that as you sit down to write these, that you’re actually, you know, gaining new insights yourself and discovering things through the process of putting it on paper?

Jon Rennie 33:54
Yes, absolutely. Yeah. No, you can’t, you know, it’s funny, you know, as a, as a leader, you know, as authentic as I can. And I find myself you know, as I do research and uncovering things that I’m, you know, I realized that I’m not doing that well, on my own personal leadership style. So, so I yeah, I’m actually find that I’m getting better as a leader as I write about leadership and talk about leadership and interview people who are amazing leaders. And I’m always like, wow, you know, I really gotta step up my game here. Right. So So yeah, I think you, you continue to develop. You know, it’s funny, when I was a young leader, I felt like, at least when I first was leading in the civilian world, I feel felt like I had, you know, I had all the answers, or I had to have all the answers. And I think now, what I’ve learned over the years is that, really, I don’t have the answers, but but my people do, my teams do. And it’s just being able to tap into that collective wisdom of the team and being up being able to uncover that and let them have a voice and as I’ve been able to do that, I find that the business has performed so much better. When you let people have a voice and have the authority to do the job, right, and that’s been the biggest development for me over the years is, you know, kind of letting go a little bit and let others take control of things.

Will Bachman 35:15
Fantastic. Well, I’m looking forward to your upcoming book, which which you told me is full of leadership lessons from your Navy days for your submarine submarine days. Look forward to that. Where can people go online to find out more about you to follow you? If you want to give a website or your Twitter handle? Where can people find out more about john Rennie?

Jon Rennie 35:36
Sure, my, my main website is john s or any.com. And it’s john without an H. But if you put an H in it works. So john is Ronnie calm. And my Twitter handle is john s. Ronnie. And I do talk a lot about leadership there. If you’re interested in the book, it’s called I have the watch. And if you go to I have the watch comm you can get access to the book and all that information. And I run a podcast, as I mentioned, and it’s deep leadership, podcast calm, you can get all that information. But yeah, all my links are on my webpage at john S. running.com.

Will Bachman 36:11
Well, john, thank you so much for joining for sharing some leadership lessons and the great work that you’re doing at peak demand, keep people safe. It’s been great having you on the show. Well, I really appreciate it.

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