One Thing Series: Being a Present Leader w/ Jon Rennie — #onethingseries

One Thing Series: Being a Present Leader w/ Jon Rennie — #onethingseries

Man the ship and bring her to life. ~ First traditional order as an active unit in the Navy

Jon Rennie is a Business Leader, Author, and Speaker. He is Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Peak Demand Inc., a global manufacturer of products for electric utilities. 

He served as a Naval Officer on Nuclear Submarines during the Cold War and has been leading industrial businesses for more than 20 years. 

He is passionate about leadership and employee engagement. His articles and blog posts have been read and shared all over the world. He believes that Leadership can make a significant difference in the performance of any organization.

His latest leadership book, I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following is an Amazon bestseller.

Key Thoughts from the Interview:

  • Jon provides incredible insight into how the absentee boss leads from their comfort zone. 
  • When asked who he follows to learn and grow, Jon didn’t hesitate to acknowledge the impactful work of Coach Bru
  • You have to hear why he gets up at 4:00AM every day. 
  • Jon describes how a ship is nothing more than cold metal in a harbor and that it’s the crew who brings a ship to life. Listen for what he wants to continue to do and how he wants to grow.
  • Don’t miss what she says about his Dashboard University.
  • Lastly, Jon covers some of his fascinating life story; he reveals, in the end, that leaders don’t have to know all the answers. 

Jon’s interview is packed full of practical ways to become a more present leader. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did! 

Please follow, like, and comment. Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you. For more great leadership content, follow

Joe & T.J.

One Thing Series: Strengthening Your Mind w/ Dr. Amy Cooper Hakim — #onethingseries

One Thing Series: Strengthening Your Mind w/ Dr. Amy Cooper Hakim — #onethingseries

Take Control of What You Can Handle. ~ Dr. Amy Cooper Hakim

Amy Cooper Hakim, Ph.D., is an industrial-organizational psychology practitioner and workplace expert. She is a speaker, author, and the executive consultant and founder of The Cooper Strategic Group. She helps employees and employers to get along better, and coaches leaders and employees to improve productivity, morale, satisfaction, and overall work-life balance. Her book, Working with Difficult People, provides clear strategies to effectively handle the ten types of difficult bosses, colleagues, and subordinates. The book hit #1 in sales at Amazon for Business Etiquette books and was highlighted in Parade Magazine. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her next book about work-life balance.

Dr. Amy has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Chicago Tribune, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, CNN, CNBC Make It, and MSN. She has also been a guest on a variety of news and radio shows. She has a blog at Psychology Today, called “Working with Difficult People.”

Key Thoughts from the Interview:

  • Amy provides very practical advice for dealing with difficult situations and people. Learn how to take the emotion out of situations and work within the boundaries of what you can control. 
  • Amy’s tribute to her grandmother is heartwarming and inspiring. You have to hear about the amazing life she led. 
  • You’ll want to hear how you can easily pivot your thinking for greater appreciation.
  • You have to hear her story about cutting her son’s hair and how we should never miss out on an opportunity to learn something new. 
  • Don’t miss what she says about seeing life as a series of experiences that guide our growth and development.
  • Lastly, take a moment to reflect on how powerful the values are that direct your day-to-day. She ends with what we should all use as the beginning. 

Amy’s interview sets the stage to transform how you lead and live. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did! 

Please follow, like, and comment. Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you. For more great leadership content, follow

Joe & T.J.

#reviewandreflect: Mind Your Mental Map

#reviewandreflect: Mind Your Mental Map

Mental Mapping This is TheSchoolHouse302’s monthly #review&reflect, wrapping up our focus on 3 Ways to Get Ahead–Looking Beyond Your Shadow for Better Weather. Our review and reflect series offers readers the opportunity to take a deep dive into our leadership content by taking time to reflect and identify the skills you need, to explore how you can learn those skills, and to connect with industry leaders to follow to gain greater expertise. Skills I need…

Our minds, the thoughts we hold, create our world, which is the perception that we have of ourselves, other people, and circumstances and situations. We call this our Mental Map. Because the average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day, with up to 95% of them repeating themselves, we need to be mindful of our self-talk, what we tell ourselves internally. And, considering that 95% of the thoughts we have at any given moment are occupying space that they have already occupied in the past 24 hours, we need our repeating record to play “music” that is empowering, encouraging, and enlivening. The question is: is your self-talk a good friend or deafening enemy?

Review: Eighty percent of our thoughts are negative, that’s a lot of unproductive time and energy. Negative thoughts are a liability for leaders, which we identify as “liability thinking.” To counter this downward thinking trend, and lead from a position of resourcefulness, we created a three-part behavior model to help you to be mindful of your mental map.

  Mental Map

The model reminds us that have the ability to manage our thoughts and subsequent actions. It takes into consideration how we view ourselves and the world around us to that you can have the right mindset to lead better and grow faster. We do have the distinct freedom in life to turn obstacles into opportunities.

Reflect: The beauty of the Mental Map Model is that it serves as simple yet effective advice for leaders. The first stop on our map is to Flip Your Thinking, the second stop is a reminder, Don’t Jump to Judge, and the third spot helps us to quit abandoning practices and programs wholesale by learning to Adapt, Don’t Adopt.

Take 3 Minutes to reflect on your ability to mind your mental map.

  • How often do you focus on what you don’t want instead of what you do want? For example, I don’t want to be overweight versus I want to lose 10 pounds in the next two months.
  • How well do you collect pertinent information to gain clarity on a situation? For example, are the communication lines open for you to receive feedback on situations?
  • How well do you adapt and grow, rather than prematurely abandoning programs? For example, do you connect the dots of various situations to strategically make the next move?
How do I learn those skills…

What should I read to strengthen my mind a create a powerful Mental Map?

Review: In our #readthisseries we featured the work of authors who clearly articulate the power of clear Mental Maps

Make it stick: The science of successful learning by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel

The leadership gap: What gets between you and your greatness by Lolly Daskal

Thanks for the feedback: The science and art of receiving feedback well by Stone and Heen

You can’t miss our #readthisseries on 3 books you need to read for a stronger mental map.

Self Assessment:

Effective and productive leaders recognize the power of positive thinking and minding their mental map and the maps of those they lead. Based on the 3-part assessment, and using a 5-point scale, 1 being ineffective and 5 being highly effective, rate yourself:


Based on the questions above, which aspect of the behavior Mental Map Model do you need to develop further?

Who should I follow…

What does an expert have to say about understanding leadership and most importantly yourself.

Review: For our #onethingseries, we interviewed Lolly Daskal.

Action: Lolly eloquently describes how there are two competing sides, a polarity of character, within each of us that can lead us to greatness or completely derail our effectiveness. She advises us to not think about what we are doing but rather who we are being. Her advice on self-discovery as a leader is profound. So the question is, are you who you want to be?

Let us know!

Listen to the entire podcast on iTunes, One Thing Series, and please rate and like (it helps).

That’s our #review&reflect for Minding Your Mental Map–3 Ways to Get Ahead. Take a look back to take a step forward. TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple and maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster. Please let us know how our leadership posts are working for you, what you are reading to improve yourself, and your thoughts on leadership and growth here on our blog and Twitter. Follow our #onethingseries podcast on iTunes and our #readthisseries on YouTube. Joe & T.J.