Jeremie Kubicek, CEO of GiANT TV, joins Ray to discuss the catastrophic event that nearly took his life, how that event shaped the rest of his life and the questions he had to answer before he became the leader he is today.
After a near tragic accident, Jeremie Kubicek partnered to create GiANT to help leaders around the world. As Chairman of GiANT Worldwide and CEO of GiANT TV, Jeremie leads a global media and content company specializing in leader transformation. He has also founded or co-founded over 20 businesses or divisions in companies in several countries, and was CEO of the Catalyst Conferences and the John Maxwell companies for several years. Jeremie is a best-selling author and speaker, creating and leveraging leadership tools to influence leaders of Fortune 500 companies, universities, nonprofits, and entrepreneurial startups.
“Fight for the highest possible good of those that you lead.”
“Without trust, all you’ll get is compliance; you won’t get engagement”
“What are you afraid of losing? What are you trying to hide? What are you trying to prove?”
1. Practice intentional multiplication.
2. Support and challenge your people.
3. What’s undermining your influence?
4. Become a leader people want to follow, not have to follow.
5. Insecurity produces poor leadership.
The Art of Thinking Brilliantly by Graham Cooke
Ray: Well, hello, everyone. This is Ray Hilbert, and I am your host here at Bottom Line Faith. And, if you’re a regular viewer or subscriber to the program you know that this is where we get the opportunity to travel the country, north to south, east to west, and we get to interview the most amazing followers of Jesus who are leading in the marketplace. And that’s really our goal here at Bottom Line Faith, is to equip you as a follower of Jesus in the marketplace to live out your faith on a daily basis. And so, we get to interview CEOs and entrepreneurs and celebrities and personalities, but the common thread is that every one of them are faithfully doing the best they can to follow Jesus every day in the marketplace.
Well, I am particularly excited to be with you today. I’m coming from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and I am in the offices of GiANT TV and I’m with the CEO and co-founder of GiANT TV, Jeremie Kubicek. Jeremie, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.
Jeremie: Thank you, thanks for being here. Grateful to meet you and be with you and everyone who’s listening.
Ray: Well, I’ve got to let you in our little secret, and my audience as well. I have really been looking forward to this conversation. Every once in a while, there’s somebody in our lives that kind of vicariously, from a distance, we follow them, we admire them, and we want to be like them when we grow up, and I feel like that today because God has used you for well over two decades, probably going on three decades now, in amazing ways. And our audience, we’re going to get to know you today, but I just want to thank you for taking this time to be with us today.
Jeremie: And thank you, I love what you’re doing. I’m really, really excited to be here with you. Thanks for that.
Ray: Well, we’re going to hear about your faith and your journey and lessons learned and all those things, but we would be remiss if we didn’t start… Would you just first help us understand GiANT TV, what your organization is doing, and what’s got you most excited these days.
Jeremie: Well, our company is called GiANT. It basically it stands for David, not Goliath. David, not Saul. So we have a little i in our brand, so big G, little i. So it’s humility is the whole concept and idea. So what we do is, we basically create content that people use to help liberate people in the secular world. And, so, we have large companies around the globe that use this to certain governments use it, and so this content is used by coaches, it’s used by our own consultants, it’s used by individuals that want to spread liberation, and they want to use leadership as a platform to heal, take things out and built things up inside people.
Ray: Fantastic. Well, you’ve had a long and storied career in this whole leadership genre, if you will. Tell us about that passion. Why is this so important to you, and where did it come from?
Jeremie: So when I was 20-years-old, I had a professor in college who apprenticed me, and this professor basically showed me, “Jeremie, you can use business as a platform for influence.” And I’m like, “You mean I can? How do I do that?” So he really, really took me under his wing, showed me. Together we started a company with some other colleagues from class and we moved to Russia. So, I moved to Moscow, Russia-
Ray: Why Russia?
Jeremie: The walls had just come down so we went in there and just… So it was a pioneering opportunity. So we took off and we started the Moscow Economic School. We started a marketing consulting business and an accounting training company, and we used the funds to help fund Young Life and different organizations and groups, to serve the people of Russia. And it was like trial, like, “You mean, I can?” And so, I came back to the States, and my dad had always told me, he said, “Son, when you’re in your 20s, it’s not what you do but it’s who you work for that’s most important.”
So I ended up working for the guy named Ken Humphreys. And Ken Humphreys was my CEO and I watched him liberate and use his business as a platform to liberate people. Then he sold the company, and then I watched the private equity world come in and dominate the very people that he was liberating, and I then was a part of that group and I became one of the acquisition trail, I was the George Clooney Up in the Air guy. I was helping buy businesses and merge them together and do all these things, and we killed a lot of cultures. And I was on that side.
And so, all of those were the context for leadership. I’d seen it in Russia. 70 years of domination, what it did to the people. It caused them to abdicate. It didn’t cause them to engage or empower them. So, I just started watching all of that and eventually, I decided, “You know, I’m going to start my own company to help basically raise up a different type of leader.”
Ray: And when was that?
Jeremie: 2002. But it didn’t happen the way you just think, “Oh, I’m going to start a company.” In fact, my motives were… In my 20s I was very driven. I was very missional, but I also wanted to be on Fast Company Magazine. I think that was my goal, to be somebody. And I used to call myself the maker of happen, which sounds so stupid now. But that was the pride in me.
So, 2002, we went to Cancun, Mexico, for a very quick trip, and on that trip we ran into a hurricane. Hurricane Isidore came and met us there, and so, on our way back we saw a movie, “Signs”, and the Eye of the Hurricane was coming. And I get in the front of this taxi and my wife’s behind us, my… some friends next to her, and I’m driving, and because of the movie, Mel Gibson gives up his faith in God because of his wife died. And if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve had 20 years to see it, I’m going to ruin it, I started having a conversation with God, in the front seat.
I said, “God, if anything happens to Kelly, my wife, I’m your man. I’m not going to be like Mel Gibson. If anything happens to my kids, the same way. Anything happens to me, I’ll trust you.” And two seconds later a drunk driver ran a red light and smashed into the car, pushed me into the driver seat-
Ray: You had just uttered that prayer?
Jeremie: Just said that prayer. Internally. Inside. Sure.
Ray: Inside. And then this happens.
Jeremie: And my sternum pops out, nine ribs snap, severed intestines, paralyzed from the waist down. And that was the conversation. It was like, okay, on one hand I’m screaming, as you would, it’s horrible, pain. And internally I’m like, “Okay, well, I trust you. We just had this conversation, didn’t we?” And I’m looking around going, “There’s no blood.” But I can see my sternum. I’m paralyzed. My back’s broken. And so I go through that, in this taxi, in Mexico.
And 20 minutes in I realize I’m not going to make it, and then I asked the questions. “God, was I your man? Was I a good husband, was I a good dad?” That’s all I could think about, and I had started some dot-coms, I had done all of these things. That was it. That’s all I could think of. “Was I your man? Was I a good husband, and was I a good dad?” And I got to see my life flash before my eyes. Actually God and I had this unbelievable conversations and he showed me like a keynote presentation. It was like a PowerPoint of like 13, 15, 18, 20, these moments in time. Showed my wife, showed my kids.
And here’s what’s so crazy about this. I’m at perfect peace and I’m realizing I’m not going to make it. And I look up to my wife and she’s trying to help me, and my wife doesn’t know any of this is going on. And she looks over at me and I look up, shaking with head, like, “I’m not going to make it. I can’t breathe.” And she says, “I know. I know. I want you to know, you’re a God’s man. You’re a great husband. And you’re a great dad.” And I was like, “Are you kidding me? Did you just say that?” He had no idea, I was just… all of what’s going on.
So I breathed my last breath and I was gone. And I got to see my life flash before my eyes, I got to see then myself out of body, and that sounds so weird, but all of those stories you hear, I got to experience it. I wasn’t in heaven for 90 minutes, but, or whatever, but I did experience the peace and I knew I was done. And then, our friend comes running in to the car, puts her hand on my arm and says, “No. In the name of Jesus, give him breath.” And in the name of Jesus I experienced healing and almost a raising up, and breath immediately came in, filled me. And I get, for all those listening, I grew up a Baptist boy-
Ray: Yeah. We’re a little bit out of the box, aren’t we?
Jeremie: I didn’t… These were not stories I was actually ever used to or experienced. And it changed my entire next season of life, because I saw the power of God. I experience the last, and it changed the trajectory of my life.
Ray: So, how has that amazing… It’s a gift that you were given, right? Probably it didn’t feel like that at the time.
Jeremie: No, totally.
Ray: But how has that shaped then how you lead, what you’re trying to accomplish in business and in leadership and in ministry? Just walk us through that a little bit.
Jeremie: Yeah, so, faith, right? Most people think of faith as a timbers and… I don’t, I see Jesus didn’t covert anyone in the Scripture. He transformed people. So he wasn’t converting them from a religion to a religion. He was basically drawing all men to God. He’s connecting them. So, that’s transformation. A transformation happened to me. I was already a follower of Jesus, but faith entered in, and the faith is a belief in my daddy. So what happened to me was a liberation, ultimate liberation, of Romans 8 style, that I realized I was a son, and I’m not just a sinner saved my grace. I’m not just a sin. I’m a son. Like this intimacy kind of happened.
So it wasn’t based on a religion in an Old Covenant way, it was based on a New Covenant relationship. And so, sonship happened, and faith started. It took me about eight, 10 years for all that I experienced in that car to start to come into real faith and real belief. And so, I just have a belief in my daddy. That’s really what it comes down to. That, who says he can’t? He can do way bigger things. And I’ve stopped limiting him that he only speak in this way. He can do anything he wants. And I’ve been trying to get into that flow of him as it relates to business. And so, we have different conversations than I used to have before.
Ray: And so, let me ask you this. From that point, you had some great projects that you were involved with. I mean, really some high profile things. I’d like to talk a little bit about some of those things, what you learned in that chapter of your life, and leadership, and then let’s transition, what’s got you really excited today because you’ve got big things, so what happened after that?
Jeremie: So we started a company. We changed the whole mission of the company and we started serving little companies and bigger companies, then we started growing as a growth consulting firm. And we were regional, you know, central part of the United States. And then we started having successes. We found, by the way, that you had strategy… Companies are basically, boiling down, strategy, capital, people. Good business model. The financing, and then the people to make it happen. Right? Well, most of the time, smart people get good business models and they get their financing right.
People that are… they always undermine those things. So either people are an asset or they’re a liability. If you turn them into an asset, it takes leaders to be intentional. Most people are accidental, so the concept of intentionally leading people to another level is really foreign. So we started finding that was the solution. So we started turning people on and getting them engaged, and that engagement through trust… It started to lead the business model, make it happen.
So we had so much success that it led to an opportunity, so in 2007 we bought John Maxwell’s assets, INJOY. A lot of people might know INJOY, and so, I moved to Atlanta to move all that into the GiANT world and basically merge it in. We started unpacking it and unwinding it. Then we took this little brand called Catalyst I’d met and I had a couple of years experience in life, and we built into a national brand, and then created this brand called Leadercast. So the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, I built that, and kind of created that from scratch.
And then we added partnerships with Henry Cloud, and we did some work with Pat Lencioni and started doing some other things with other thought leaders that you guys would all know, and that was amazing and fun, but I also learned a ton about what really, really works, and what doesn’t work. And so that was a journey for a season in time, and I had a lot of people who were like… I was always the behind-the-scenes guy. I was the corner office guy who put all the strategy and capital and people together to make those things happen.
And, in that process, I saw a lot of… became probably jaded and cynical to certain things, to get… oh, okay. And by the way, all those people I mentioned are amazing people. John Maxwell’s amazing, Henry Cloud is one of my favorites, Pat Lencioni is amazing. Those guys are the real deal. They really, really are. But it was the system that set up in the publishing world and in the events space and kind of this knowledge pass-up and all of that that I saw behind the scenes, and I got disenfranchised with not seeing transformation the way I wanted to.
Ray: It’s seductive. There’s the high profile-ness of it all. People’s adulation, the bright lights and all those things, and that’s what I’m hearing is that, it wasn’t about these personalities we’re talking about, it was the whole entrapment of everything that’s going on. That’s what I’m hearing, anyway.
Jeremie: Absolutely. But to really think, what does it take to transform someone? What is a disciple, really? And I realize I was creating very shallow disciples based on an event or a book. Butts on seats sell my book. And that was like the motto that I had bought into, because that’s what I’d bought. And so that’s not the design of Jesus. And so, if you think of how he changed the world, he took 12 nobodies and he didn’t go to Jerusalem, he went to the country, and he changed the world from nowhere. And it was mimic me. And he apprenticed three guys. He coached another nine. He trained 72, and then he informed hundreds of thousands.
Ray: Multiples. Yeah.
Jeremie: But most of our model, currently, is focused on getting to those thousands. That’s not how Jesus changed the world. Jesus changed the world with three guys. And nine. There’s 12 together. But those guys is how he changed the world. There was a model there. It’s a formula. It’s right there in Matthew 10, Luke 9-10, Matthew 6. And nobody talks about it. It’s crazy.
Ray: So, you have that, I call that chapter, that season, that we were just talking about, but it’s transition now to a new season, and you really have a lot of wonderful things going on and I’d really love for you to share with our audience what’s got you most excited these days, and why you really feel like God’s anointing is on this, and what can we learn from you?
Jeremie: Well, so, based on everything I just said, I fired myself from my businesses in Atlanta and I moved my family to London. My business partner, Steve Cockram, he’s British, he’s a great guy. So we decided, “You know what? Let’s start all over, the two of us, and let’s start the Jesus discipleship.” So then we got three, then we had 12, then we had 24, then we had… So now it’s grown to a group of people, individuals, who we’ve been practicing multiplication. So what I’m excited about is teaching intentional multiplication. So we use the… everything we’ve done, we saw… Jesus used parables because that was what they used back then because it was an oral tradition.
In our case, it’s a visual tradition now, but the 21st century has caused everything to be visual. So now we take these little tools. Let me show you, Ray, I have a little tool kit here. I keep it every… and it’s, obviously, we have this as an app. Or you have a tool like this, and it’s a simple little tool that teaches something that’s really profound. Well, this happens to be Revelations 5. Okay. But, in it, we talk about Jesus as a lamb and a lion. He was not just a lamb, not just a lion. Well, the best leaders in the world, they bring high support and high challenge.
I share all that to say that we created visuals to meet the visual world that we’re in, and teach them how to multiply to other people. So we use 100 acts as the main metaphor. So, 100 acts. So let’s just ask, if I had to ask you, “How healthy are you now?” Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, one through 100, as accumulation, where are you right now? Are you at 75, are you at 90? Most of the leaders we find are 75-plus. They’re 75% healthy, generally healthy-
Ray: Okay. All right.
Jeremie: … but they add value to people, but they’re not intentionally multiplying. Most of the church-
Ray: What do you mean by that? Intentionally multiplying what?
Jeremie: Wisdom, knowledge, skills, insights. They’re not intentionally discipling people.
Ray: Okay. Okay.
Jeremie: So they go, “Okay, I’m going to take you and I’m going to take you from here to here.” Most people just… “I’m generally happy, generally healthy. If you need anything, ask.” Then you’ve got the group that are kind of not healthy, they’re 60%, and they’re negative. So anyone around them is like, “Gosh, that was kind of a drain.”
Ray: Sitting around Eeyore.
Jeremie: Yeah. You have those very small percentage that may be 40% divide. They’re like cynical, divisive, deconstructing. And you have a very small percent that are 100X. I mean, truly, truly healthy and multiplying. So what we’ve done is we actually create these opportunities for people to look in the mirror. This is, “What’s it like to be on the other side of you?” Just by giving these visual tools, and so that alone is an exercise. “Where are you at right now? Are you 75-plus?” So if we get people to go, “I want to be an 100X leader.” How? That’s what we do. We train people how, and we use the metaphor, the sherpa, and Mount Everest as a… it’s a lot better and easier than servant leadership, and teaching that.
Ray: Some folks listening or watching may not understand that analogy, and I think it’s a powerful one, but walk us through why that’s such a powerful analogy, the sherpa.
Jeremie: So, first, servant leadership, I love the premise of Jesus as a servant. But Jesus was a lover and a fighter. He’s a servant and he could challenge. He’s a fight. So to support and challenge. If he’s only support, he’s a flannelgraph Jesus in Sunday school and is like, he’s only a lamb. He’s a lamb and lion. And that combination is important. So, servant leadership oftentimes comes across that way. But also, around the world, the word servant doesn’t work in the traditional business world.
Ray: Yeah. Yeah.
Jeremie: So, we’ve changed it. We love the concept but we want to change the metaphor to sherpa. Sherpa is a people group that they help people climb on Mount Everest in the Himalayas, and they’re basically like a Native American here, the Cherokee Indian. They are sherpa. They’re a people group. So, and you’ll know it because that’s their last name. Phenuru Sherpa, is a friend of mine, his last name is Sherpa. Well, what a sherpa does is they are born at 14,000 feet, so they’re already predisposed at the acclimation of their lungs, their heart, of their brain, can live at that altitude. So, that’s why they’re so important on Mount Everest.
They climb Mount Everest 20 times to your one, because they’re going up and down all the time. So they’re fully acclimated. So to get a leader to 100% health and then get them to multiply it, that means that you’re a sherpa. You’re acclimated in leadership, both all the junk, all the hard stuff, and the good stuff, but you’re always learning how to support and challenge people, and you look at the person you’re going with up the mountain, and you help them understand, “What do you need right now? Do you need more support? Do you need more challenge? What’s undermining your influence, and how do I help you get to the next level?” That is what a servant leader, that is what a sherpa is. That’s what a 100X leader does.
So what we say is, it’s not enough for you to climb up Mount Everest yourself, with a sherpa. Great. You get to the top, you didn’t die. You get your picture. You made it back and you didn’t die. You’re in base camp and we go, “Ray, good job, man. We’re going to give you a few days rest but in three days I need you to take those three people up the mountain.”
Jeremie: That’s a different skill set. To take other people up the mountain is way different. Most of the leadership that we found has been helping an individual climb the mountain. That’s not leadership. That’s you climbing, it’s part leadership. We need you acclimated to take those three whiny sheep up the mountain.
Ray: Well, that’s Jesus’s model. Discipleship. He said, “The things you see me do, you’re going to do even more.” That’s what I’m hearing in that, right?
Jeremie: That’s it. Absolutely.
Ray: I love that. Thank you for taking the time to walk us-
Ray: … through that analogy, because that now, it makes a lot of sense and it’s very clear. Let’s talk a little bit about, how does that play out in today’s world with technology and… I’ve heard you speak on this and others talk about… We live in a connected generation that’s disconnected. So, with technology and with everything going on in today’s world and how fast things are, we have to get results. Come on, Jeremie, we have to get results. How does this play out what you’re talking about in relationship to today and technology?
Jeremie: First and foremost, most leaders, they want this. Can we just get everybody on the same page? Can we just make it happen. They want everyone aligned and they want execution.
Ray: And they want it now.
Jeremie: And they want it now. But they don’t understand, that’s like the former Soviet Union where I used to live in, and when I lived in Russia, it’s like that was domination. They just… just produce, just produce. There’s no trust. Without trust, all you’ll get is compliance. You won’t get engagement. So how do you get people engaged is the question? Well, you have to start with communication, and then it has to go to relationship, and especially in today’s world it’s authentic, genuine relationship that’s important. So, relational trust has to be established.
Jeremie: Then you know what will happen if relational trust is there? People will be motivated to be aligned and then get things done. It’s a different mindset. So, in today’s world, a lot of people are still using 20th century leadership principles, and those don’t work because we’re in the fast. So most people are used to Netflix, they’re used to visuals. That’s why we created GiANT TV. It’s basically Netflix for leadership. It’s really simple, but in doing so, what we’re doing is we’re giving people visuals to create objective language.
Jeremie: So, if you want to change your team, you have to have the same language to be able to communicate with. And what happens in most cases is, most bosses get mad at their people and they go, “Ray, come on man. I need you to step it up. Like I just need you to get to the next level. Are we good? Are we clear?”
Ray: Yeah, but I don’t know what that means.
Jeremie: Yeah. You just know I’m frustrated and upset. Instead, if I look and go, “Hey, look, Ray, you know what, man? Sometimes you know what I’m noticing? I’m noticing that with your people, they know that you’re for them, you’re bringing lots of support, but you’re not sharing your expectations, and so they’re kind of getting entitled. So I need you to work on your expectations, like really…” Now we have a common language, I’m letting you look in the mirror to where you are, that objective language is now helping you move that. So we’ve just created… Jesus had parables, we created 50 tools, and the tools are around gossip, they’re around how to do communication, relationship, personality, how to do influence. All of those things are designed to work in the 21st century.
Ray: I love it.
Jeremie: And that’s the difference that’s happening.
Ray: So, let’s say that I’m listening to this online or through my podcast app or I’m watching it, what have you, and I’m really intrigued by what I’m hearing. So this sounds like something I need to look out for my company, for my organization, how does that play out? Do you come in? Do you have leaders? How will I engage in that process?
Jeremie: What we’ve done is, we figured out… imagine a lever, an automation to relationship. Okay? We’ve created fully automated, you can do it with GiANT TV, we’ve actually created pathways already that says, if you have a new employee and you want them… if you’re having team issues, any of the pain points that happens with teams or cultures, we’ve created a pathway that says, “Okay, take this assessment, watch this video.” And it’s all there for you, and you can do it for 899 a month. I mean, is that inexpensive?
So it’s automated. But if you go, “You know what? I actually want people to come fully in and do work with my team.” Great, that’s relational dynamics, we’ll still use some GiANT TV but it’s more relational. Or you create a hybrid, and so what we just figured out is like, we’re trying to use leadership as a platform to heal, cast out, raise up. We’re doing it. We’re bringing it in such a way, but we want… we don’t have any competitors, so if we have coaches, any group that want to get certified on what we do, bring it. Come on, come and get certified. And so, it’s giantworldwide.com, or the 5 Voices, or any of those kinds of things.
But GiANT TV now enables people to use the 21st century, and anyone can sell GiANT TV and make income from it. Anyone can get certified, or anyone can bring us in. We’ve just now… I think that’s the thing I’ve learned over those last 20 years, how do you create a platform where you can bring life and bring light but do it in a way that works in a secular landscape? We’re not proselytizing, we’re not… We’re using it for transformation, and that’s how people can play.
Ray: I love it. So, what’s been, maybe, the hardest thing that you’ve been through in your career, and kind of what pulled you through, or how did your faith play a role in that season of your life?
Jeremie: Outside of the car accident?
Jeremie: Yeah, in the leadership place, it was at 2012, 2013. I woke up and I looked behind me and I realized people weren’t following me. They were following the brands I’d created, and they were excited about the appeal of those things, but I wasn’t a leader worth following. And that’s crazy to think about that. That wasn’t that long ago. I’ve been working on becoming a leader, someone that people want to follow and not have to follow. And what I realized was is that I was really, really good for everyone else but our own people. And that same thing happens with a lot of leaders with their families, and so, I had, two years prior, I’d made a decision with my family that I was going to be a dad worth following, so I became intentional versus accidental and I made major changes. I just hadn’t made them at work, yet.
Jeremie: By the time I got to 2013 I was having some real issues of insecurity, and so I had some questions that my, Ken Humphreys, my original founder, had given me. What are you afraid of losing? What are you trying to hide? What are you trying to prove? And those were the three questions I built… that my first book was called Leadership is Dead. They were in my book and I had written them in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I actually swallowed them and used them. And I woke up and I realized I was trying to prove myself to the world, which meant that I was pushy, that I was sellsy, that I was trying to… everyone to validate me. I was afraid of hiding… trying to hide the fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was just trying to scurry and make things happen.
Jeremie: And then I was afraid of losing reputation, afraid of losing certain things. So that insecurity produced some poor leadership. And so, I really, really started to die, and that death led to life and I really, really changed the way that I started thinking about things. And I started looking… And so what I did is I started reading Jesus only, not Paul and not… Just Jesus, and I read the Gospels. I read them over and over, but from different points of view. I read them from, how does God’s view of Jesus? What was Jesus’s view of God? Then I read it again. What was Jesus’s view of the disciples? Then I’d read it… What was Jesus’s view to the Pharisees? What was Jesus’s view to the world? That changed me dramatically to this whole idea, “Oh, my goodness, I’m actually being a part of something that’s not biblical.”
Jeremie: I’m leading in ways that might be… appear to be a Christian… that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to be part of the kingdom. I wanted to be viewing it… so I radically… We sold our entire possessions as a family. I fired myself from our business, and we moved to London and we started over from scratch. And everyone thought I was, “What are you doing?” And they thought I was on a sabbatical because I had melted down. The reality was, I was dying myself, but I was coming out live to who I really am, and I was learning that I am a son of the most-high God through Jesus, through Romans 8, this whole idea. That’s what was happening.
Ray: That is so powerful, so, if you don’t mind, what I’d like to do is, I’d like to just for a moment, let’s pause and let’s consider someone’s listening to this, someone’s watching this, and they feel like they’re trapped. Maybe they’re feeling, “I’m posing. I’m not authentic. I’m… Gosh, what do I do next? I’m discouraged. What…” Everything that you just described. From the world’s point of view and maybe from other Christians, everything looked like it was all together, but there was something inside that God was working on in you. So if somebody is listening to this conversation right now, what advice, what encouragement would you have for them to help pull them through that process?
Jeremie: So, I needed a sherpa. I needed someone to process with me, which is interesting, because my business partner became that sherpa, so Steve Cockram. So finding a sherpa to help you, because you know that verse, don’t lean on your own understanding? I didn’t trust myself in that period of time. I didn’t trust my thinking, I was irrational, I was under stress. So when you get into moderate stress or extreme stress, you’re not going to think correctly. Your kryptonite’s going to come up.
So, having a sherpa who could support you and challenge you to get, “Uh, you’re in stress behavior again.” So that allowed me to really grow, so I needed to lean on someone. That was one. The second thing is, I needed to fill my mind with things, and it’s not just for me, and this is, for those listening, it wasn’t just Scripture, because I was full of Scripture. I mean, I’d been reading it over and over and over. When you’re reading Scripture, sometimes I needed some provoking. I needed a different mindset. So the resource that I give to all the CEOs I work with, and this is so helpful, but it’s actually Graham Cooke. And Graham Cooke’s talks on the Art of Brilliant Thinking changed the whole view of the way that I think.
I listened to it for about three or four years, almost every day, like seven… back in the day of CDs, but it was seven series, and the Art of Brilliant Thinking, what it did is it helped me understand how do I count all joy when things… what does it really mean, what does it mean when persecution comes? What happens with negative? And so, taking captive of thoughts, not like just lust, which most guys think that that’s what that means, which, that’s part of it, but it was more than that. Taking captive of that negative thought, taking captive of that slander. Taking captive of that feeling of insecurity.
So I started going hard after those things, so it was the sherpa with that kind of listening on a daily basis that got me past this like, “You know what? I’m going to live at this level.” So I kind of died at these things, and some of them were religious things. Some of them were stuff that I had grown up with, and I realized, that’s man-made, that’s not God. That was some man-made things that I had just believed.
Ray: Sounds to me like, in Romans, when it talks about the renewal of the mindset. You really went through that at a very deep and profound level-
Jeremie: And I still am.
Ray: … and still are.
Jeremie: And still am.
Ray: And so that’s the advice, and the encouragement is to get into that kind of transformation process. That’s fantastic. The last section I’d like to enter into with you, Jeremie, in this conversation, is just maybe some advice and some encouragement. If you had a chance to go back and advise the 21-year… You’ve got three kids-
Jeremie: Three kids.
Ray: … right? Two in college, one in high school. So this is probably something you get to do regularly, but if you got a chance to go back and advise the 21-year-old you, what advice would you give you?
Jeremie: What’s great about this is that we talk about this with my kids all the time. I had a apprenticeship track I do with my kids when they’re 16 to 18. So I got intentional and built an apprenticeship system for them. It’s so fun, but I do it based on their personality type so it’s speaking to them directly. And so, we talk about this. But the one thing I tell them in that age, the 20s, it’s the same thing my dad told me, “It’s not what you do. It’s who you work for.” So, go get apprenticed. Work under someone. Humble yourself. Submit yourself to a process to learn from people.
Ray: That’s powerful.
Jeremie: Now you can learn from negative situations, and sometimes even better, but when you find someone who you want to work for, not what do you want to do, because you don’t know what you want to do in your 20s. No one does, right?
Ray: That’s right.
Jeremie: So, don’t worry about it. I think most influence happens between 55 and 70, those are the influence years, in my opinion. So, if you think about 55, subtract your age, that’s you’re learning. So I still… I’m 47, so I still got eight years until I’m in my sweet spot. So what do I need to learn in this next eight years to prepare me for that season? So the same thing for 20-year-olds. If they can get to that context, I think it will.
Ray: Say that one more time. This is so powerful. It’s not what you do, just… Say that again.
Jeremie: It’s not what you do in your 20s. It’s who you work for that’s most important.
Ray: That’s incredible. I don’t think I’ve heard that before. That advice came from your dad.
Jeremie: That’s right.
Ray: Right? And you’re passing it down, and that would be what you would tell your 21-year-old…
Jeremie: That’s it.
Ray: So you wouldn’t change what you already heard?
Jeremie: That’s right. That’s powerful. Yeah.
Ray: So, as you look back over the course of your career, if you could go back and do one thing differently, you said you’re 47, if you could look back, what would be the one thing that said, “If I had a chance to do it over again, I would do X.”
Jeremie: Yeah. Yeah. It’s so hard because I have 20 things.
Ray: Yeah. I’m only going to let you do one, though.
Jeremie: The one thing would be… I would probably say this. If there’s a dimmer switch on your back, all of our backs, that says, “Intentional or accidental.” To move it as far up as intentional as possible, to yourself, family and team. If you could do that. I was accidental with my family, I was accidental with my health and myself a little bit, and I was accidental with my team because of the pressures of the world and the clients and tasks and all those things. So, when I became intentional in those three categories, game changer. I just wish I had done it way earlier.
Ray: What does that mean, intentional?
Jeremie: Intentional means to proactively look at what do you want, how do you help them, other people, get to the next level? Thinking, for them, with them, to help them get to the next level. So, you’re thinking intentionally about my family and I was just accidentally being a dad, like most people do, so now I’m like, “How do I help my kids grow up intentionally?” When I made that switch, our relationship changed.
Ray: That is so powerful. Recently I had a chance, I was speaking with some corporate leaders and I was talking about waking up each day with purpose and with a plan, and it just kind of came out, I guess, the Holy Spirit, inspired, and said, “Most of us look at the end of each day and we look back if whether it was a successful day based on what happened to us that day.” And it’s really about what happens through us. That’s the intentionality. So it’s not what happened to us but happened through us. And that-
Jeremie: That’s it.
Ray: That’s a great clarifier you’ve offered round intentionality. For our regular viewers and listeners here at Bottom Line Faith, they know that my last question that I always ask is based on Proverbs 4:23, Jeremie, and it was Solomon writes these words. He says, “Above all else, guard your heart for from it flows all of life.” So what I’d like you to do is take a moment and reflect that if… let’s just fast forward, we don’t know when this would be, but let’s say you’re at the end of your time, this side of eternity, and you have a chance to gather your family, your friends, your loved ones, those who are most precious to you. And you now get a chance to pass along one piece of advice. So I’d like you to fill in the blank for our listeners here, “Above all else…”
Jeremie: Fight for the highest possible good of those that you lead. So, fighting for the highest possible good of those you lead is a game changer.
Ray: Fight for the highest possible good of those you lead.
Jeremie: Of those you lead.
Ray: That’s fantastic. Jeremie, anything that you would want to add to our end of our conversation?
Jeremie: Just encouragement to all of you listening. Just thank you for bringing this. This is enlightening and helpful for any… not this, but all that you’re doing in Bottom Line Faith, and just the work that you do. So, thanks for being a liberator. That’s… we need more. We need more of the right kind of leaders, and that’s the-
Ray: Thank you.
Jeremie: … that’s what the world needs.
Ray: Thank you. Well, folks, there you’ve heard it. We’re in Oklahoma City, we’ve learned from Jeremie Kubicek today, and here at GiANT TV, and you’ve learned great leadership principles, an amazing story, a redemptive story of a moment in time when he thought life was over here, but God has brought that back to redemption. God resurrects things and he resurrects lives and leaders and families, and just think about what we’ve learned today. That’s really our goal here at Bottom Line Faith as Jeremie was just sharing, is that we want to encourage you as a follower of Jesus in the marketplace, to become who and what God has called you to be. Take that next step of obedience.
We hope you’ve been encouraged. We hope you’ve been blessed. We hope you’ve been inspired. We hope you will tell others about this, as well. We are so grateful that you’ve invested some time to learn from Jeremie, here, and for joining us at Bottom Line Faith. So, until next time, I am your host, Ray Hilbert, encouraging you to live out your faith every day in the marketplace. God bless and we’ll see you next time.