GCM 110 | Leadership Power


It is difficult to find effective leaders these days for the main reason that leadership is hard. Nonetheless, it is not impossible to overcome the roadblocks that prevent you from being the best leader you can be. In this episode, Rodney Flowers interviews leadership strategist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author, Peter Montoya, to talk about the things we need to understand about leadership—from the good, the bad, and even the ugly. He discusses the three domains of leadership, which encompass organizations or companies, friends and family, and the self. He provides some great insights that can help us become better leaders in our own lives, increase our leadership power, and build a leadership organization culture. Reframing leadership from leading to that of serving, Peter also shares the sources of power leaders can tap into to find the greatness within them and be of better service to other people.

Listen to the podcast here:

Leadership Power: Leading From The Self To Serving Others With Peter Montoya

I am excited about this episode. I have Peter Montoya with me. He’s a leadership strategist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author. Peter bootstrapped his successful software company from an idea in 2008 to a multimillion-dollar exit in 2018 without capital, investors, or partners. Peter knows how to inspire people by tapping into their unique purposes. Peter is a truly fascinating and multifaceted guy with decades of experience in speaking to audiences about his business knowledge, inspirational journey, and human behavioral insight. I’m excited. I can’t wait to speak with this gentlemen, please help me welcome Mr. Peter Montoya. Welcome to the show, Peter.

Rodney, I’m thrilled to be here with you. Thank you so much.

In a crisis, we discover the great leaders. Click To Tweet

Thank you for joining me. I’m excited about the topic we’re going to discuss because the world needs more leaders. You seem to be an expert with leadership, producing leaders, helping leaders be more transformational. First of all, I want to say, would you agree that the world needs more leaders? Why would you agree with that statement? I have my own reasons, but I want to learn from the expert.

The question I like asking people is, “Do you feel that in 50 years from now society and the planet will be better off or worse off than it is right now?” I’ll ask that question to you, Rodney, when you take your crystal ball out, look to the future, do you think the planet or society is better or worse off in 50 years?

If things don’t change, we’re going to be worst off.

I’m an optimist like you are. I always want to think my best days are ahead of me and I truly do believe that. Also, I look at the problems we’re facing on this planet and you could take your pick, plastics in the oceans, climate change, income and inequality, nuclear war. Also, being out there looming political instability, immigration crises. I’m fearful for the future. I hope I might live another 50 years or so. The thought of me leaving the planet worse off to my children and how I found it is heartbreaking to me based on my morality. My morality says, “Leave things better than what you found it.” I was born in 1968. I got a relatively low-cost education. I was raised in a safe society. I had lots of great mentors. I’ve had a great life because of that. The thought that my children and my children’s children wouldn’t have that same opportunity is not okay with me. That is in the short why we need more leaders. I think we, as a society, are headed in the wrong direction.

GCM 110 | Leadership Power

Leadership Power: Humility is the ability to see yourself objectively. It is the ability to see the flaws in yourself without shame or embarrassment.


What’s wrong with us? A lot of leaders out there, and every time I turn around, you hear about leadership training. There are lots of leadership coaches and speakers out there. It sounds like we’re missing the marks and where we know we need leadership, but why aren’t we producing more effective leaders? 

There are a couple of reasons. The first reason is leadership is hard. It is painful. Most other things you can do, you can somewhat objectify, separate you from the skillset. You can go, “I’m not that good at tennis,” and tennis is a skill you don’t have, “I’m not that good at Spanish,” or “I’m not that good at accounting.” You separate you from the activity. Leadership is personally. Every leader who has a leadership encounter that goes wrong, where people are not influenced, not inspired, don’t have a strategy or share the vision of the leader and go the wrong direction. Leaders go home in their car and usually have that moment of, “What did I do this time? How did I fail?” You’ve got to reflect and change yourself if you want to be able to influence others better.

I believe that the first step to leadership is self-leadership. For me, that’s what we’re missing the mark. There are two things I want to talk about personally. It’s self-leadership, understanding that everyone is a leader. We disassociate leadership with the responsibility that is placed upon us first as a leader. You have to be able to lead yourself before you can lead others. Also, there’s this ego that’s associated with leadership and then there’s lack of connection. I threw the third one in there as well.

The ability to connect or lack thereof, I find in a lot of leaders. It’s more so do what I say with dictatorship versus true relationship building. I have a fourth one which is service. You can see I’m passionate about this. Leadership is not so much leading people somewhere. That’s a myth about relationships, but it’s more so serving people. If you’re the leader, it’s not so many people serve you, but it’s the opposite. I know I dropped a lot of things. It’s about four things that I talked about there. We can start with self-leadership. Those are the four places that were missing the mark, at least in my opinion, when it comes to leadership.

You've got to reflect and change yourself if you want to be able to influence others better. Click To Tweet

I think that there are three domains of leadership. The first domain of leadership is the one that people don’t usually associate with. That’s the leadership of organizations or companies. We look at these JFK, RFK, MLK type figures who are standing up on a lectern speaking to tens of thousands of people, uniting people, creating a vision, strategizing. We’re like, “That’s what a leader is.” That is one domain of a leader. The second domain of a leader is friends and family. You are always modeling something to them. My wife has got a rule for our kids. That is, to be a better influence on them than they are on you.

Whether you know it or not, you are leading in your friends and family, either positive or negative. The third one, I would agree with you completely is leadership itself. That’s exactly it. It’s an easy, fantastic way to gauge your leadership self. It is foolproof. It works 1,000% of the time. All we have to do to assess your leadership skills of self is to look at where you are. We look at your living condition, your relationships, the money in the bank, your house, car, job, education, assess all those things. That is the objective measure of your leadership skills to date.

Could you provide some insights? I know some people are probably thinking, “I’ve got this much money in my account.” “My relationship with my mom and dad isn’t that great.” “I’m not doing what I want to do right now. I must be a poor leader.” Help us dissect that.

More or less, we all came into this world with exactly the same thing, and that was pretty much nothing. We were born butt naked in this world. Depending on your level of advantage, you are given certain gifts coming along the way. I say gifts, I don’t mean your natural gifts. I mean the gifts of housing, education, nurturing love from your parents, and a good social circle and wonderful experiences. Somewhere around eighteen years old, you were launched into the world and it was your job to lead yourself from where you are to where you want to be. Wherever you are right now, is that an objective measure of your leadership skills to date? The good news is you can change it anytime. At any age, you can change the trajectory of where you are already, where you want to be, and get yourself on a different path to where you want to go.

Let’s talk about how do we do that. We’re not going to have time to talk about all of those elements and domains of leadership. I feel like some of these topics they’re going to warrant a lot of time, which certainly getting to as many as we can. Let’s start with self-leadership. Let’s talk about someone who wants to change. A lot of people that are reading have a destination in mind, fulfilling a purpose in mind, creating a certain life. These are all objectives for them and maybe they feel they’re not measuring up. How do we change? What do we need to change in terms of being a leader in our own lives so that we can meet those objectives? Where do we start?

We alluded to the first one, which is to own the fact that you’re a leader, you are leading yourself and that’s the most important thing you’ve ever got. Number two is that of humility. Humility is the ability to see yourself objectively. It is the ability to see the flaws in yourself without shame or embarrassment. It is the ability to see your weaknesses just as they are. Most importantly, it might be the ability to admit you’re wrong. One of the best measurements of humility is the speed at which you can admit you’re wrong. I make mistakes every single day, dozens and dozens of them. When I make a mistake, I want to admit that I’m wrong as close to the moment that it actually happens. That’s how I can grow the most. A lot of people are petrified of humility. They are petrified to admit they’re wrong and they are stuck in a cycle of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness means that you think that you’re infallible, you’re never wrong and you don’t want to make any kind of improvements.

That is incredibly destructive both to you and your relationships. Self-righteousness for some reason, we think it’s a sign of strength, but in truth, it alienates other people. We don’t like people who are self-righteous. We don’t think they’re smarter, stronger, better. We just think they’re deluded. Number two, it hurts those relationships, which makes it more difficult for us to connect with them because they have this wall up of invisibility. The first thing is you’ve got to recognize you’re not perfect. The only thing that we have to protect is perfect. The Mona Lisa is perfect. We’ve got to protect that. Michelangelo is perfect. We’ve got to protect that. If it is perfect, you protect it at all costs. As soon as you realize you are not perfect, you don’t have to protect it. I’m not perfect. Therefore I am right for a change and more or less I crave and desire feedback. I can find out the mistakes I’ve made so I can make the changes to grow. Humility might be, what’s one of my master. We call it Master Values that looks over after all my other values. It’s hard to change if you aren’t willing to look at yourself.

I liked that because I like the idea of vulnerability. When you’re talking about humility, taking a look at yourself, it’d be vulnerable enough to admit that you’re wrong and realize that you’re not perfect. It takes a lot of vulnerability to do that. A lot of people don’t want to be vulnerable. You said we were born into this world butt naked. As we get older, the more we want to cover up and not show our true selves. It takes being vulnerable to open up. That’s such a blessing. A lot of people don’t see or they choose to ignore or protect certain flaws seemingly. As I think about this, sometimes our flaws are based on some type of social standard. I’ve been thinking about vulnerability. Why we want to cover it up, why we want to protect ourselves. I’m finding that my thoughts are taking me because we think that someone out there is going to have a judgment on certain things. That judgment is going to hurt. It’s going to feel bad. It’s going to be uncomfortable so we want to protect it.

It’s like a game has played where you have four quarters in a game, and in a time that’s associated with each quarter. Those are standards that are set by someone. The entire game is set by a standard. You didn’t set the game. You didn’t set those standards, but that’s how the game is played. At the end of regulation, which that regulation is set by someone, whoever has the most points determined a winner. That’s a social standard. It doesn’t mean that one play is better than the other. It just means that played, in that particular moment, during that regulation, one team score more points. They are declared a winner based on those standards. We do that to ourselves. It is what I’m getting at. We have the standards out here that someone says, this is good. That’s bad, that’s right, that’s wrong.

If you have this blemish, maybe you’ve done something in the past that people would judge us that’s wrong. Now you’re going to get viewed in a certain way. You adopt that social standard. You adopt whatever that judgment is. It holds you back. I feel like this is what makes leadership being vulnerable difficult for people. It is because we have to deal with our own stuff that may not be as perfect as a society or some social standard holds us to. There’s this idea of, “I don’t measure up,” or it’s this idea, “I don’t have any of that, I’m perfect.” 

That self-righteousness is a form of self-delusion that you were impervious to judgment from other people. The truth is when you are self-righteous, people are going to be more judgmental of you. You’re saying, “I am perfect and infallible.” If you want people to be less judgmental, be more humble, more open to feedback, more gracious and appreciative of feedback, and more willing to change.

One of the things I love is feedback. I start many times, especially in the corporate space to have certain intervals when they will give you feedback, maybe semiannually or annually you have these evaluations. That’s just a judgment session, “You did well here.” I like it more frequently than annually or semiannually. It’s almost like on a daily basis, “How am I doing? Where am I falling short? Where can I improve? What things am I missing? Where are my blind spots?” That helps me. Being a leader or being an overall good person, is daily work. It’s something that you want to focus on our day-to-day basis. I personally like to focus on a day-to-day basis. I realize that I’m striving for greatness, not so much perfection because I think perfection is far-reaching. Everyone has a level of greatness in them and it’s how do we improve to that level of greatness to be of service to someone else. That’s what it is for me.

You landed on one of my favorite topics that I teach on to corporations, and it’s called the Feedback Agreement. I too, like you love feedback. I crave good feedback. I want all the important relationships in my life to be empowered to give me feedback. Let me share with you the story of how I got there. I’ve been with my wife for many years. Years ago, my wife and I were laying in bed having a conversation. We were both talking about how we, as human beings, are delusional. We don’t see our flaws. We don’t see our mistakes. We don’t see our bodies the way we’re supposed to. We see them in this projection of what we want them to look like. She said to me, “If ever I get too heavy, I need you to tell me.” That is right up there with, “Do I look fat in these jeans?” I’m like, “I’m not answering that question.”

I said, “I’m not telling you that.” She said, “Here are my criteria for what I’m too heavy,” and she told me what her criteria were. “If I ever get that way, you’ve got to tell me.” I said, “Under no circumstances, no way are you putting me in a spot. I’m not doing it.” She said, “I promise you, I will not get mad. If it comes that I get too heavy, you’ve got to tell me.” I said, “I’ll do that for you. It’s now.” She said, “What?” She got upset for a second and then she reflected for about 3 or 4 minutes. She said, “You’re right. This last summer I spent every day eating chips and dip. I have broken my own standard for what I want. Thank you for telling me.” From that, we created what was called the Feedback Agreement that I’ve written up formalized and taken out to corporations, which empowers at least one true teller in your organization. Usually, a peer who you like and trust to give you honest, kind, candid objective feedback on how you’re showing up in the organization. This radically transforms people and accelerates their ability to grow.

It’s something that you said in there that has resonated with me. You said you created a standard for yourself. A lot of us live by standards that I’ve set about other people. I read somewhere a quote or just a passage that I was reading. It said, “Set a standard for yourself that no one else will ever hold above what anyone else would ever hold you to. If you meet that standard, you would never disappoint yourself or anyone else.” It’s a beautiful piece of passage. It’s sage advice on what you’re talking about, leadership. That’s leadership. You can set a standard above with anyone would place upon you. That takes leadership to do that. 

I love that passage too. I think it’s beautiful. A good leader creates criteria and meets it. It’s easier for us to meet the agreements with the people. If we tell someone we’re going to show up or be on time or do something, it’s easier for us to do that. The hardest person for us to keep agreements with is ourselves. When you’re creating a standard for yourself, you’re both setting the objective. Also, you’re creating an agreement that you’re going to behave in a certain way. That is hard. That’s one of the major things that makes a good leader is someone who meets their own agreements.

GCM 110 | Leadership Power

Leadership Power: If you want a better life for yourself, the only way to do it is to increase your leadership power, which is the ability to achieve intended results and start taking responsibility.


What are some of the sources of power? 

Let me ask you a question, Rodney, do you want more power?

No. I don’t think I need more power.

Why don’t you want more power?

It depends on what I want to do with power. I don’t want to overpower or control people. One of the things that I didn’t mention when it comes to leadership, some people use it as a sense of control because I’m the leader, I can control. That’s a sense of power. Maybe a misused power, and I’m just completely opposite. The power that I want to give people is self-empowerment to accomplish what they want to accomplish. Create the lives that they want to create, to give what they have been created on this earth. It’s not so much I want to have it. I want to transfer it.

I’m going to change your mind 180 degrees to the point where all you want is more power. Power is the ability to achieve intended results. No matter what you might want in life, people might think, “I want the power to build a big organization, to build a company, or be hegemonic. I want to control other people.” That is one very perverted version of power. Power is the ability to live the life of your own design. If you want to lose weight, better health, better relationships, take a two-week vacation once a year with your loved ones, where all you can do is connect, you want to go to a third world country and build houses for the poor, those are all exercises in power. Power is the ability to achieve intended results. Rodney, you are living empowerment. You are the embodiment of empowerment and you are out there trying to exercise your muscle called power through your show, your books, and your speaking of teaching people how to have more power over their own lives. Power is the only measurement we care about in this world. It’s one of the most important.

How can we give more power?

We’ve got ten different sources of power and how you can do that. I’ll hit on a couple of them. One of my favorite ones, we talked about humility. That’s one source of power because, without humility, you aren’t able to self-reflect, correct, and make changes. That was an important one. Another one we love talking about that has not been formalized and talked a lot outside of the world of recovery are boundaries. Boundaries are the rules of being with you. What is and is not okay with being with you? Can someone borrow your car? Can someone eat off your plate? If I was driving your car, could they change your radio without permission? I wouldn’t do that. That would be a boundary issue. Can I hug you? Is it okay if I’m late for our meetings? The boundaries of the rules of what are and are not okay with you.

Leaders are the ones more or less who enforce boundaries, it’s not only for themselves but also for their people, their group, and their tribe. When we look at the leaders who we relish most in our society, they’re the ones who created new boundaries for their people. Martin Luther King created a boundary for African Americans in this country. He said, “It’s not okay for us to trade like third-class citizens anymore.” He took everything in and plus he gave his life to enforce and change that boundary. That happens on a group level, on a family level, and also happens on a personal level as well. First of all, a boundary violation. When someone defends your boundary, it is not a confrontation. That’s why a lot of people get scared of it.

If someone shows up late for a meeting and they don’t say anything about it, or someone bumps into you and you say, “I’m just going to let this go because I don’t want to make an issue out of it.” Understand, a boundary is not about confrontation, but it is about enforcement. There are four different ways to respond to a boundary violation. Rodney, you and I are supposed to have lunch and I show up fifteen minutes late. There are four ways you can respond to it. The first way is passive. You’re a doormat. You don’t say anything. I don’t say anything. You don’t want to enforce it at all. You go, “I don’t want to say anything to Peter. If I say something to Peter about him being late, he may not like me anymore and I don’t want to make waves. I’m not going to do that.”

Self-righteousness is a form of self-delusion wherein you are impervious to the judgment from other people. Click To Tweet

The second way is passive-aggressive. Passive-aggressive are different behaviors that seem like they’re appropriate and benign, but in truth is they’re hostile. Maybe you make some cutting comments to me during lunch. Maybe you might just get up and leave without saying anything at all. I’m sitting there wondering, “What happened to you?” Maybe you might make an aggressive act like, take the food off my plate and not tell me why. Passive-aggressive is meant to be things that look like they’re acceptable, but there’s an underlying level of hostility.

The third way is aggressive. People think this is an essence of a strong leader, yell at me, scream at me, berate me, shame me in some way. People think it’s strong, but it’s a sign of weakness. The fourth way is assertive. It is kind, confidently, and immediately share your boundary. It’s like, “Peter, we agreed to be here at noon. I left work early. I braved the traffic. I got here on time and I’d appreciate it if you show up for our next meetings on time.” The goal of boundary enforcement is to more or less protect yourself while improving the relationship. Assertive is the only way to get that done. The other three ways more or less hurt the relationship in some way.

Peter, how important is identity when it comes to being an effective leader?

The word I would probably use is authenticity. Authenticity is knowing who you are, which means, you know your values, what’s important to you and how you want to live. It is having the confidence to be seen on a regular basis versus hiding out and being a wallflower. It is having self-esteem, which means that you love yourself for who you are. Most people cannot say, “I love myself.” They’re like, “I love myself, but.” The last part of authenticity is that unique creativity that is only you, that unique light that is only you. People connect with authentic people, and they have a hard time connecting.

What is the moral compass? You talk about that in your work.

One of my mentors and one of my favorite leadership speakers is John Maxwell. I love John Maxwell because his leadership compass is set very firmly with people comes first. John doesn’t know of any other form of leadership. He feels it’s the only way. I appreciate his point of view, but the truth is there are multiple different types of leadership, all dependent upon what is the goal of your moral compass? When you look at military leaders, they have a different value set because they have a different goal than what John does. Military leaders want to inflict the maximum amount of violence and damage upon the enemy while preserving their forces’ lives. They’ve got a different value set from that goal. American businesses have been making some changes, but for the last 50 to 100 years, the number one goal of American businesses was to provide shareholder value, which is to make more money at any cost, whether it be human or environmental. That is shifting.

If you were to ask me, what is the goal for most Americans? I would say, it’s personal enrichment. Most Americans are on a treadmill to enrich themselves as much as they possibly can. The most important question you’ve got to ask yourself is, what is the objective of life? What is your goal? Where are you headed? For me, I think it’s maximizing human wellbeing. The goal of life is to make sure that I live a life of maximum flourishing and everyone I touch flourishes as much as possible as well. Once you set your moral compass and you know what the objective of the game is, which you get to determine for yourself that changes your leadership value set based upon that.

Do you think that anyone could do this? We’re using a lot of terms here and concepts around life and leadership. Maybe this isn’t for anyone. What are your thoughts about that?

Whether you like it or not, you’re a leader already. It’s not a question whether you are or not. Your default leader of self, and if you want a better life for yourself, the only way to do it is to increase your leadership power, which is the ability to achieve intended results and start taking responsibility. There’s no way around it.

I have a philosophy about corporations and entry-level positions that are created for employees. I believe that when someone comes into an organization, we’ve evaluated them and we’ve made a decision that they are good enough for us to hire in our organization, then to me the expectation should be that they’re going to be a leader. I know that there are a limited number of leadership spots in an organization. I get that, but it doesn’t mean that the expectation is that they’re going to develop to be a leader. Maybe they develop leadership skills to the point, where they have to move on to another organization because our slot or field is great. Leadership should be an expectation right from the beginning. We should have the responsibility to start training them to be that leader right from the beginning. The whole idea of what that training should look like. That’s a different topic, but I think that leadership should be an expectation straight from the beginning. That process starts on day one. What are your thoughts about it?

There are a couple of tools you keep fumbling yourself onto that are like my favorite things, and this is one of them. I’ve got that Feedback Agreement, which I give to the clients I consult with and they put it in their employee manual. They have everyone who can give everyone feedback. Number two, we have another page which we provide to our clients that says that the purpose of our organization is to develop leaders. We are a leadership development organization. One of the primary jobs of an organization is to develop leaders. Many years ago, the leadership looked very different. It was command and control. It was top-down. It is, “I am the leader. I know everything. I am the smartest. I have the most vision and strategy. It is your job to execute what I tell you to do.”

That was just fine in an agricultural/industrial environment where people were robots in the assembly line that worked just fine, or people were going off and fighting in World War II. We need people who think and make decisions in this innovative information society. In that case, we’ve got to have people who are not only aligned with the strategy and the objective of the organization but more importantly, they are able to lead themselves and other small teams. Every organization, its primary mission is to be a leadership development organization.

How do we do that? Part of being in a leadership organization is culture. There are a lot of organizations where the culture is not aligned with that so we have to change the culture. How do we create cultures that are oriented towards building leaders? 

The first thing is establishing that and saying either our department, our team, our unit, our company, is a leadership development organization. That’s the first thing that we’re out here to do. Once you set that, the next thing you do especially if you’re an organization is an interview for it. All people think that interviewing is the optimum time to qualify somebody else to work for your organization. There are some very important screening that goes on there. The other thing that’s equally as important is the time to instill your values as an organization into the people that are coming in. When they enter the organization and you give them feedback on the first day, they aren’t surprised by that. Rodney, I know you played football.

I am positive that on the very first minute you were on the first playing field, whatever age you started playing football, your coach was not a wallflower in sharing with you his feedback on your performance. For some reason, we get into white-collar jobs and we’ve been disempowered ourselves to not give feedback. The feedback is going to sound markedly different than the feedback that you and I got playing football. I can’t even remember the names that I got called, the names that you got called. That was the culture that we were dropped into. It worked for us at the time. I’m sure that that football looks a little different even now than when you and I were playing. In a white-collar environment, feedback is equally as important. However, it’s delivered much differently.

GCM 110 | Leadership Power

Leadership Power: One of the major things that makes a good leader is someone who meets their own agreements.


There are some areas of improvement that need to happen there in organizations, especially that we’re dealing with Millennials, Gen X, the way they think and the way they handle the processes that have been around for years. It’s a lot different than even when you and I were going through. It’s different from how we engage and connect with people. The big part of relaying the message and communicating values is also having that connection. Being able to connect with people in a way that outlines, “This is what you get out of this too.” Another aspect of this topic is most people would come into the organization with the idea of, “I want to come into the organization, I want to support the mission.”

That’s what the organization was looking for. Now, people are looking for how working for this organization is going to benefit me. It’s a two-way street. We have to, as leaders, make sure that we understand not only what we need in order to meet our objectives, but we’re providing something back to that individual. We’re supporting our objectives. What are we doing for them? The people that we bring have more power to dictate how the organization is run to a certain extent. What are your thoughts about that?

The old model was, I go to work for a company. I trade my time, my energy, and my passion for a paycheck. That was the transaction that happened. I was more or less an object, or I was told by a corporate leader one time that I was a role player, a hired gun. I was there trading my time for money and it was a very simple transaction. No matter what they asked of me, how many hours I had to work, kill, I had to rush, what machine gun nests I had to fire upon. I was to do what I was told. That was the transaction that I was willing to make. Now, it’s much more of a partnership. That’s what you’re talking about that when you say there is more power. More or less people want to make sure they’re living a life of fulfillment, which is, “That’s what they want.” “Yes, that’s what they want.”

Most Millennials are more on the ball than we were. I sacrifice my family, my health, my happiness, all for the purpose of achieving and succeeding more, and also for my own fulfillment. It cost me a marriage more or less. Now, more or less, Millennials say, “I’m not willing to make that trade anymore. I want a job that not just gives me some level of enrichment, pays for my expenses, and my lifestyle, but it actually helps me grow as a person.” Do you know what I said to Millennials? “God bless you. We should have figured that one out years ago.”

It’s beautiful because they want leadership. They want to develop those skills. For me, if you’re an organization that’s providing, they’re going to be knocking on your door. We have to get away from that old way of thinking and doing business and provide those leadership skills to them at a very low level. I’m thinking even at the entry-level. I know there’s the thought of, “What if I developed them and then they leave and I’ve spent time training them?” Everyone can’t be a leader in this organization. We only have so many billets, but I feel that that’s okay. Even though you have people coming in, you train them and then they leave but because your leadership development programs or processes are so great, they’re going to be seeking you out to come. You’re going to have to turn people away because at least that’s what I think the market is demanding. You’re solving a very serious problem that we have in our country, which is a lack of effective leaders. 

An organization might decide we’re a leadership development organization. You might invest tons of time and resources into a young person and they might leave. Alternatively, if you don’t have a leadership development program, they’re guaranteed to leave. Either guaranteed to leave or they might leave, which one do you want?

Another thing that you talk about is the new statement on the purpose of a corporation. I want to get into that a little bit. What does this mean and why does it matter? 

The hardest person for us to keep agreements with is ourselves. Click To Tweet

I alluded to it when I said, the purpose of the business for the last 50 or 100 years was to enrich shareholders. That was the stated goal. The business round table is 187 CEOs from fortune 500 companies. In order to be a member of the business round table, you can’t be a chairman of the board. You can’t be a CFO. You can’t be a president. You have to be the CEO of one of the top 1,000 companies in America that creates the business round table, 187 run this group. In 1997, they stated it. The number one goal in a corporation is to provide shareholder value. It was the only goal of a corporation. In 2019, they made a radical change.

They said there are five goals of a corporation. One of them is shareholder value. As a matter of fact, of the five on the list, shareholder value is number five on the list. Number one is protecting your employees. Number two is protecting your vendors and your supply chain. Number three is providing value to the community that you serve. Number four is the environment. Number five is shareholders. It is our job to have a holistic approach in enriching all five of those, not just shareholders anymore. When they set that out, it created a sea chained in the morality compass for corporations. No longer they’re only making a decision of what makes the most money. It is now balancing all five of those different shareholders.

What do you see the domino effect of this? 

I’m assuming you’re probably like me who have dozens and dozens of references in your mind of corporations, making decisions that put profits over people, profits over the environment, and profits over the country. The hope is it won’t change overnight, but over time we’re going to see better decisions being made by corporations that not only benefit the shareholders. It’s going to take some time because the dollar is a powerful reward. It’s immediate in its objective and it’s tangible. Providing value to employees or the environment is a little bit nebulous and it’s harder to gauge. However, you asked me what was the number one challenge we’re facing as a species? I would say it’s climate change, and those ramifications are coming and they’re coming quickly. Corporations are very much awake to that.

Peter, how can people connect if they wanted to learn more, work with you, have you as a speaker? How can they find that information?

I’m easy to find, it’s PeterMontoya.com. You can get in touch with me there. The other thing I’ve also had, which is fantastic is I’ve got a YouTube channel under an organization called ThriveUnion. I have over 60 different videos laying out what I called predictive models. We as human beings are pattern recognition machines. We create patterns in our mind, which helps us understand the consequences of our actions. We have created 60 different videos that help people understand the different patterns in the world from absolute responsibility, empathy, to belonging, and understanding the world so you can make better decisions on a regular basis. We are big into understanding the patterns in the world so you can create predictive models, you can have better control and more power, the ability to achieve intended results. If you’re homeless, you want more power. You want to have a house. If you can’t fix your car, you want more power, so you have enough money, a ride, and build to get your car to the shop. It’s all about power.

I liked the idea of the ability to achieve results. If I was going to plus that, which I’m not. I’m not plusing you. I will say that the only thing missing in that statement is the fact that we have to be able to overcome challenges. The only thing that’s stopping you from reaching results is the challenge that’s between you and the result. It is how we handled that, how we deal with that challenge. Everything that’s in between you and a result. That’s what we classify as a challenge. I love the fact that you guys are doing work to model certain patterns that would help us overcome the challenges that we have as a nation in the world. Once we have the ability to overcome challenges, that’s power. The bigger the challenge, the more power to me that’s needed to overcome it.

I think in crisis we discover the great leaders. In this crisis, what we’re experiencing, the new next generation of leaders is emerging.

Thanks, Peter, for coming on the show. I appreciate you being here. It’s been a great conversation. I love the work that you’re doing in the world.

Rodney, it was such a fun interview. I love connecting with you. I love what you’re doing. Thanks for having me.

GCM 110 | Leadership Power

Leadership Power: We, as human beings, are pattern recognition machines. We create patterns in our mind, which helps us understand the consequences of our actions.


Before we depart, I would like for you to let us know, what do you feel is the Game Changer Mentality message?

It is an absolute responsibility. Responsibility is about blame or shame. It’s pointing the finger and saying, “Who made this mess?” Absolute responsibility is owning the situation independent of who is to blame. If you want to change your life, one thing you can do that will dramatically change your results is you own your life, as it is without blaming the country, racism, your lack of education, your lack of money, or the person who took advantage of you. Without blaming any of those people, own who you are without blame or shame. It empowers you to then change it how you want it to be. We cannot change what we do not own.

Power is the ability to achieve intended results. Click To Tweet

Until next time, peace and love. 

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About Peter Montoya

GCM 110 | Leadership PowerMost Speakers who teach have not done it for themselves…and most Entrepreneurs don’t know how to speak…
Peter is the rare exception. He’s a thought-leader who has also accomplished big things.
Peter bootstrapped his successful software company from an idea in 2008 to a multi-million dollar exit in 2018…
without capital, investors or partners. Peter knows how to inspire people by tapping into their unique purposes.
Peter is a truly fascinating and multi-faceted guy, with decades of experience in speaking to audiences about
his business knowledge, inspirational journey, and human behavioral insight.
Though Peter struggled through school with undiagnosed ADHD, he was admitted to and graduated from the
The University of California Irvine in Political Science. Post-college he became a traveling speaker and salesman,
chalking up over 3000 presentations and living in over 22 major cities. Peter went on to found a successful
advertising agency and software platform, dedicated to financial service professionals. He quickly became the
industry guru, writing numerous books, including one of his best selling works “The Brand Called You”, “The
Personal Branding Phenomenon” and his newest book “Leadership Power”.
He now pursues his passion for humanity and the planet – he sincerely believes that all people and organizations
have a special role in perpetuating the survival of our species, our civilization, and our planet. He speaks
thoughtfully and passionately about the need for Transformational Leadership in today’s world.

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