Image for post
Image for post

I knew this guy named Paul.

Incredibly creative.
Saw things others didn’t see.
Violently passionate about his craft.

All this made Paul hyper-critical of his peers’ work. He always had criticism to offer, and usually it was constructive and on-target, even if it was rarely presented well. His own products were nothing less than spectacular. He produced work others could only dream of creating.

However, it took him forever to get anything done.

Paul worked for me at a fast-paced media outlet where producers were expected to complete numerous radio and TV projects per week.

He got like three projects done in the three years he was there. If a project wasn’t going well, he’d simply abandon it. …


Leadership is about giving.

Leaders give instruction, guidance and direction. They empower people to do their jobs.

Good leaders also give more intimate pieces of themselves. They give their time and effort, often when they’d rather be doing other things. They share personal stories and lessons learned, which can be an exercise in humility. They tell the secrets of their success, which could be counterintuitive in a competitive society.

Even though it may be tough, good leaders do all these things.

And the great ones—really successful leaders—know how to give without taking anything in return.

This takes finesse. Knowing how to guide people while letting them be who they are and execute tasks the way they want to is not alway easy. …


What successful radio DJs know that you don’t

I have written and produced hundreds of radio spots (maybe thousands, I didn’t count). I have also produced hundreds of hours of live radio. In more than fifteen years as a radio and television producer, I learned a lot from trial and error. I also attended several professional radio advertising courses.

Producing radio content is similar to producing web content; it’s all about connecting with your audience. Creating a strong personal connection is key; this cannot be overstated. …


What Skateboarding Taught Me

I rode my skateboard quite a bit in the eighties.

Back then you couldn’t buy skateboards and skateboarding helmets and pre-fabricated plastic launch ramps at WalMart. There wasn’t at least one skatepark in every city. There weren’t even any X-Games at that time.

(“Uphill both ways, in the snow…”)

I don’t remember exactly how, but my friends and I came into possession of a launch ramp at one time. I’m going to level with you; I think we stole it. I remember putting a skateboard under it and pushing it out of someone’s garage, and I don’t feel like we had their permission. It was a serious safety hazard, this thing. It was a monstrous structure made out of trash wood. It had rust-caked nails hanging out of it, a few bent over and hammered down into the wood (the telltale mark of a superior builder). It was heavy—it must have weighed a hundred pounds—but somehow it still moved a little bit each time someone rode off it. There was certainly no professional architect involved in its creation, but as I’ve already stated, this was a different time. …


Image for post
Image for post
Everyday.

The secret is simple: Pay the price.

I started a mobile software company in 2009 with $430 in gambling winnings.*

Since then I’ve grown it into a small empire that has netted more than a quarter of a million dollars.**

I know that’s not Angry Birds money or anything. However, I started with no programming skills to speak of, no formal business training, and I did it all in my spare time while serving in the U.S. Air Force.

How did I do it?

I became a Hustler.

You know the Hustler. He gets things done. She always seems to be thinking miles ahead of everyone else. …


Image for post
Image for post
High five!

You can’t fake good leadership

I spent 20 years in the Air Force. I served in some key leadership positions and watched the performance of many, many others.

One thing I noticed is that many people aren’t very good at leading. In fact, they don’t lead. They cover their own asses. They want to avoid culpability. They seek blind obedience. They seem to believe it’s appropriate to treat others in the worst ways they remember being treated.

What people fail to understand is that real power comes not from getting people to fear and obey, but from getting people to cherish your opinion so much that they come to you for advice and seek your input on their own. …

About

Chris Vadnais

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store