Join us today for Part 3 of the Interview with Aaron Walker founder of the Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind...

This is Part 3 of the interview I had with speaker, mastermind founder, and serial entrepreneur Aaron Walker.  

In today’s interview with Aaron Walker, Aaron and I talk with you about his definition of leadership.  Aaron shares how he’s developed his own influence.  Aaron and I also talk with you about what you should do to develop your influence as well.

Join in on the Chat below.

00:00:01 Thanks for joining us on episode 646 of the inspired stewardship podcast. Hi, my name is Aaron Walker, I'm president and founder of the mastermind playbook. You know, masterminds are a great way to intentionally grow yourself and invest in others. And one way to be inspired to serve others well is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my good friend,
00:00:28 Scott Mader, Uh, whatever your source is. You know, people like to read books. They like to listen to audible. They like to watch Ted talks. They like to listen to podcasts. I think it's just being in a posture of learning, continuous, being a student ongoing, and even after hundreds, if not thousands of books by this time in my career,
00:00:58 uh, there's so many more amazing books coming out each day. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcasts. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in yourself,
00:01:22 invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world in today's interview with Aaron Walker, Aaron and I talk with you about his definition of leadership, how he's developed his own influence over time and what you can do to develop your influence as well. One reason I like to bring you great interviews. Like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from others.
00:02:00 Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible, go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from.
00:02:25 And instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books. The same way you're listening to this podcast. Aaron Walker has founded more than a dozen companies over the past 41 years. He attributes much of a success to having surrounded himself with his mastermind counterparts.
00:02:51 Aaron spent a decade meeting weekly with Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, Ken Abraham, and five other amazing Aaron is the founder of the iron sharpens iron mastermind that now hosts or 15 groups with national and international members. Aaron, as the Arthur of the view from the top, a must read to fully understand how to live a life of success and significance. Also the founder of the mastermind playbook and incredible resource for starting running and scaling your own masterminds.
00:03:26 Erin lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Robin of 40 years, and he has two incredible daughters and five beautiful grandchildren. Welcome to the show. Aaron Scott, Thanks for having me, buddy. I've been so looking forward to this and I'm excited that you're having me today as your guests. Well, and you know, I've, I've been, uh,
00:03:50 you're one of those folks that's been on my list for a while of getting on the show. I love listening to your Facebook when you go and do the videos I like watching you out and walk in there and talking to everybody, uh, you know, we've we were talking before we got started about some of the folks that we have in common and I I've heard great things that I know you're going to add tremendous value to Lister today.
00:04:11 So I'm looking forward. Well, I appreciate that, buddy. Thank you very much. You're very welcome. So over the last few weeks, we've talked about leadership. We've talked about self development, you know, we've used that term a couple of times. So one of the questions that I like to ask people, because I figured out over, over the last few years that almost everybody uses the word,
00:04:34 but not everybody has, you know, most people don't actually mean the same thing by it. So I've started asking, how would you actually define the word leadership? Yeah. Uh, leadership just means you have influence. And for me, uh, the influence is a little bit difficult sometimes because there's conflict and you can't really have influence over people if there's not a level of conflict.
00:05:04 So your, your level of conflict is proportionate to your level of influence. And if you think about great leaders, there's always somebody, a faction that doesn't like what they say. Otherwise, there could be no influence if you're straddling the fence and scripture even talks about if you're lukewarm, right? You can't have any influence. Right? So leadership for me is,
00:05:27 uh, directly proportionate to the amount of influence that you can have. Hmm that's uh, one of my mentors, John Maxwell that says definition is to leadership is influence nothing more, nothing less. Yeah, probably 25 or 30 years ago when he, when he first said that, but it's one of my favorite definitions as well. So thinking about that, if,
00:05:48 if that's what leadership is, is influence, and people are trying to work on developing their influence for water, Some of the principles or resources, you know, mindsets that you would suggest that they focus on. Well, as we talked about a few weeks ago, you know, there's numbers of books that you can read and there's coaches that you can get.
00:06:14 I think it's staying in a posture of constant learning, uh, whatever your source is. You know, people like to read books, they like to listen to audible. They like to watch Ted talks. They like to listen to podcasts. I think it's just being in a posture of learning, continuous, being a student ongoing. And even after hundreds,
00:06:35 if not thousands of books by this time in my career, uh, there's so many more amazing books coming out each day. There's amazing educators in the online space. There's so many different courses and playbooks that you can buy today. You know, coaches just get you there faster, right? You people that you trust, people that you have respect in,
00:06:59 it's the same as having mentors in our life. And why would we want mentors is because I want to help people Dodge the landmines. I want to be. I had a young guy recently, and this was kind of funny. He'd been married five years and he was on the mastermind call. And he started telling us about what he was going to do and not do in relationship to an argument with his wife.
00:07:20 And I just listened. He goes, I'm on March, right in there. And I'm going to tell her this, this and this. And I said, yeah, we'll find your hand in on the couch. Tonight is going to be really cold and that's not going to work out well for you. And he said, well, and I said,
00:07:33 listen, I got 40 years of marriage experience, right? I'm a mentor in that area to this young man. And it's the same in every area of our life. There was a guy recently came to me and he was going to buy his partner out. And he went over with me exactly what he was going to say. And he was going to tell this guy,
00:07:52 Hey, you're an idiot. If you don't take this. And because of you, the company's in the shape that it's in. And this guy had plenty of money. I mean, this guy was not broke. This other guy had plenty of money. And I said, you know, what's going to happen. He's gonna, he's going to get pushed in a corner and he's gonna fight you to protect face that's what's going to happen.
00:08:11 And here's what you need to tell him. You need to go in and say, it's because of you. This business has grown like it has. And I need your wisdom and I need your expertise. And I need your help as we go through this process because you're wise and I know you can help me. He goes big. Hey, I don't want to do that.
00:08:29 And I said, let me tell you something. I've, I've own 14 businesses. And I've dealt with a lot of partnerships. You just tried, you haven't anything to lose. And he did it. And he called me that night at home. And he said, I did exactly what you said. And it worked unbelievably well. And he said,
00:08:45 to be totally honest with you, you saved me a half, a million dollars in fees. And I started laughing. I said, well, don't forget to send my coaching tech. And he started, but the truth is, is I've been through this a number of times now. I don't have every answer. There are so many things in so many areas,
00:09:02 Scott, that I've got to learn today. And I know I do, but that's the reason that the first two hours of my day, every day starts out in a posture of education. It starts out in quiet time because I'm a Christian by faith. And so mine starts out in meditation and prayer and it does every morning of the week. And then I go into reading and studying and watching the YouTube,
00:09:24 listening to the podcast it's education. We've got to stay in a posture of education. Hmm. Yeah. It's that, that idea of being a constant learner, uh, and you know, again, the mode of learning is it necessarily the thing to focus on as much as the fact that you're constantly learning constantly growing We're different consumers of information in different ways,
00:09:46 and you just have to find out what works best for you. Alright. So as a, as an Arthur yourself, as a speaker, uh, you know, speaking of great books, the view from the top is I've read a number of years ago. It's, it's, uh, another one of those books that's poured into me now, you know,
00:10:02 doing the masterminds and doing that for as long as you have, you've obviously had a lot of influence on others. And you may have just touched on this a little bit, but how do you make sure that you focus on keeping that influence a positive influence that serves others? Well all the time. Yeah. I have a couple of different ways that I do that one is,
00:10:26 is for people that are unfamiliar with the term. But I have an accountability group that I meet with. And I've been doing this every Friday morning for 30 years. And I meet with three guys at a local restaurant. And, uh, this is actually the third group. This group has been meeting about 15 years and we really challenge each other. And we go to the next level intimately.
00:10:52 They know everything about me inside and out, and you can't get on like a podcast here or somebody that don't know you and just share all your dirty laundry. But there are people that you need around you to push you in there. Certain things that they know about me that the average community would know, like I'm a creator developer, I'm not a maintainer manager.
00:11:13 And so the reason I've owned 14 businesses after I start them and get them up to a point and I lose interest. And this is the only business that I've ever owned started that I have more interest after a seven year period than less. And the reason is, is because of the benefit of the participants, the life change that is going on. But if this group didn't know that if they didn't know my history,
00:11:39 they couldn't give me good suggestions in good recommendations. And so for me, I have to have accountability. Like a lot of people say, well, you have to hold yourself accountable. That's true. But if I didn't have people asking me tough questions, it's very easy to go off the road, right? Get off in the ditch and not maybe exercise or take care of myself or do date nights or whatever is that,
00:12:03 you know, you're interested in doing so I've given them permission to call me out in every area of my life and asked me the hard questions. And there's some very tough, personal questions that they asked me. And only they asked me to keep, uh, keep me in focus and make sure that I'm learning on a regular basis and that I'm doing what I say.
00:12:22 And the other thing that I do is I share my goals. Outwardly a lot of the people don't do that because if they don't hit their goal, then they haven't anything to explain. But for me to hit my goals, I need to share it with as many people as possible. That way I'm held accountable. How you said you were going to do this,
00:12:38 did you do it? We have written frameworks. I have a clear vision. I have a mission statement and I have a vision that's written and we follow that. And we review that weekly and I go over it is this task getting me closer to my vision. And I want to encourage you if there's anything, uh, that you've, uh, kind of set me aside,
00:13:00 listen to this real quick. I did something five years ago. This probably paid as much value to me personally, as anything. Uh, I did a come as you will be in 2020 that's this year I did this five years ago and I had to stand before my mastermind group. And I had to say, this is what my business is today.
00:13:21 I'm an author of one book. Um, this many properties, I have this many customers, well, here we are 20, 25 years later. And I had to pretend five years ago in 2015 that I was speaking from the past. It was, you know, hypothetically. But what we did was we wrote those goals down. And I said,
00:13:42 in 2015, I want to have 10 mastermind groups. Well, this year we'll be launching our 19th mastermind groups. So I've doubled my goal because I stood before our group and said, this is what I'll do. And then I said, I'll make this much revenue. And we've dwarfed that revenue. I said, we'll have this type of home. And we've got a very nice home.
00:14:04 It was all because I stood before a group and made a proclamation and I wrote it down and I stayed true to the course. And as a result of that, we've been successful. So if you don't have people around you, procrastination is our enemy. And if you don't have people around you, you say, I'll do it next week. I'll do it next quarter.
00:14:22 I'll do it next year. But when you follow like Brian, Moran's 12 week year, you've got to do this task today and this task tomorrow. And then the goal will happen much quicker than you fully realize. And so we just have the systems and processes in place for us to be successful. So as someone who's done a lot of training, you've done a lot of speaking throughout the years.
00:14:47 You know, you talked earlier about being invited to speak, uh, what tips do you have for people that want to get better at speaking, want to develop their influence, using that as a tool? You know, well, it's like anything practice, you know, they say you don't worry about the guy that does 10,000 kicks. You worry about the guy that does one kick 10,000 times.
00:15:11 Uh, you have to put in the time and I'll tell you, I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, but I have a lot of grit and determination and perseverance. And I guess being in a mastermind group with Dan Miller and they Ramsey and Abraham, and some of those guys, uh, they're coming to play. I mean, it's, for real,
00:15:30 they're not coming in there just to hang out, they're coming in there to get it done. And I guess over the decades that has just taught me this determination and grit about, I only got one life to go through. This is not a trial run. This is it. And I want to maximize it. I want to be the best that I can be at everything that I'm doing.
00:15:50 And I can't do that by myself. Isolation is the enemy to excellence. And if you really want to take your life to the next level, you've got to get people around you to help you. We were created to be in community. We weren't created to be alone. And so I enlist as many people as I can to help take me to that next level simultaneously,
00:16:12 we're helping them do the same thing. And so you've just got to get your focus in a way that is Dave says don't ever quit. Don't ever, ever quit. Now there's times to stop doing things. That's not what he's talking about, but get the naysayers out of your life. Get yourself surrounded with people. That's going to tell you how it can be done,
00:16:33 not why it can't be done. And so I just listen, Robin and I are really, really careful who we surround ourselves personally and professionally. I want people around my grandkids and my children that are going to help them accomplish their vision, help them reach their goals, help them dream out loud and help them accomplish that task. I don't want the guy saying,
00:16:57 Oh, that's never going to work. I'm like, what you mean is, is never gonna work for you. But if you're not careful, you're going to get run over because I'm about to go through you because I'm going to accomplish this goal and this dream, that's the people I want around my grandchildren and my children, my peers, listen, we never sit around and talk about people,
00:17:18 small minds, talk about people, great minds, talk about ideas. And I want people around me. That's going to have and share great ideas. And so that I can do the same for them. So it's just a mindset shift, Scott, and we can choose to do it the other way, or we can choose to do it in a positive way that opens up opportunities.
00:17:41 And I just elect the secondary, not the primary. I'll want to be around people that are going to help take me to the next level. Hmm. Awesome. Thanks so much. So is there anything else Aaron, that you'd like to share with The listener? You know, when I was a child, my mom had a saying that I didn't like it at the time.
00:18:04 It was can't, couldn't do it and could did it all. And I've adopted that as a mindset and a mantra for my life and people are afraid to fail. And I used to tell my daughters failure is in not trying, not in, not succeeding. And so I would say fear missing an opportunity more than you, fear of failure and adopt a mindset of you can do something and you too can be highly successful and significant on this journey that we call life.
00:18:45 Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast, as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively, listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, please, please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate. All one word iTunes rate.
00:19:16 It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures, develop your influence and impact the world.


In today's episode, I ask Aaron about:

  • His definition of leadership...
  • How he’s developed his own influence... 
  • What you should do to develop your influence as well...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

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Whatever your source is books, audible, Ted Talks, podcasts.  It's being in a posture of learning that matters.- Aaron Walker

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Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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