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  • Writer's pictureJay Riggs

Do NOT Read Leadership Books... Learn About Your Wheelhouse

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

12 Things NOT TO DO...

Issue 2

Do NOT Read Leadership Books... Learn About Your Wheelhouse

Thank you for joining me in Issue 2 of our 12 part series on 12 Things NOT To Do...

As we discussed last time, I came up with these topics based on reading many messages form you, and seeing trends of incorrect thinking, incorrect action, and a host of issues that made me want to say “STOP, don’t do that!!! (at least not right now)

In order to find real happiness, one of the most important things you need to achieve is Balance. Balance in your personal life and balance in your professional life. Balance is achieved by having both your personal and professional lives in order. You’ll find that all 12 of our topics deal with both our personal and professional lives. The principals must be applied to both in order to achieve Balance. And Balance is necessary in order to be able to enjoy your moments and find the maximum possible happiness in your life. While it is possible to have one or the other going well, and enjoy some moments in your life, the goal here is to enjoy the maximum amount of moments, therefore it requires a greater effort on our parts to create balance in both your personal and professional lives.

In our previous issue we discussed not having random “resolutions” but a solid plan. Now that you have a plan, I’d like to discuss how to acquire the knowledge you will need in order to execute your plan, both in your personal and your business goals, but especially in your business goals. Whatever business or industry your in is called your “Wheelhouse”. And in this issue we will be focusing on how to become so good at what you do that you are able to achieve continual success with it, enjoy your work moments more, relieve stress in your personal life, thus allowing you to enjoy more of those moments. Make sense? Ok, let’s get started. I have 2 important things to teach and share with you today on how to acquire the knowledge necessary to properly execute your plan.


The first thing I will tell you is Don’t Read Leadership Books!

Did you fall out of your chair? Did you say, “But my boss said”, “But my friend said”, “But my Pastor said”, “But Tony Robbins said…lol”? So then whyyyyyy am I telling to NOT to do something that everyone else tells you to do? Are you ready…brace yourself… (this might hurt for a second)… BECAUSE YOUR NOT A LEADER!!!


So now your asking, “Is this guy insulting me?”. The answer is no, I am not insulting you. The fact is that 95% of us are not leaders. We generally fall into one of 4 categories; Employee, Manager, Executive Staff, Self Employed. I am speaking to those 95%.

Notice I did not include actual Leadership Positions like:

- Mayor, Governor, President, Pastor, Priest, Corp CEO, Activist Organizer, Prophet, Dictator, Cult Leader, lol etc…. If you are one of those, then you definitely fall into the world of Leadership, and before you take on a position of this magnitude, it’s a given you should have already mastered the skills and habits mentioned in Issue 1 and 2.

What I am saying is the term “LEADER” is so misused and overused, that it confuses people such that they study books, learn lessons, develop skills that have NOTHING to do with what they are trying to accomplish. Most of us are not “leaders”, although most of us need to learn “management” skills in order to execute our personal and career plans. It is VITAL that you understand the difference between Leadership and Managment. These two words may seem like mere semantics, but it is because your lack of understanding this semantic difference that can keep you from finding the path to your life’s goals. Semantics are vital. If you are using the wrong word, you will seek the wrong information, you will study the wrong materials, and you will NOT learn the lessons you need to succeed. Let’s take a closer look at these definitions.

"Semantics are vital. If you are using the wrong word, you will seek the wrong information, you will study the wrong materials, and you will NOT learn the lessons you need to succeed."




the action of leading a group of people, a government, or an organization.

guiding people toward a goal or vision.




the process of dealing with or controlling things or people

Notice how Leadership has to do with “guiding people” and Managment has to do with “process”. Remember in the last issue how we defined a Plan requires a “method”? That is what process is, a method, the way you go about doing something. Management skills, not leadership, are very useful in the method you use to execute your plan. In both your personal and professional lives, you’ll need to manage information, details, people, etc.. in order to be successful. You may be a skilled manual labor employee, a sales representative, a department manager, a VP of sales, member of an Executive team, or work at a Non-profit. All those jobs require various management skills, but non of them necessarily make you a leader, or necessarily require leadership skills. Career balance is about knowing your job and industry (your “Wheelhouse”) better than anyone else. It’s not about “leadership”.

In fact, leadership has nothing to do with personal or professional balance. Some of the most influential and successful leaders in history, were incredibly unbalanced in thier personal lives. And many people with good personal lives are not even close to where they would like to be professionally. Leadership, is not the answer to advancing either of these. Leadership by definition “leading” people. It is the ability to combine knowledge with learned skills, teach them to others, then help guide their actions to get a desired result. If you NEED to do that for your job or career, then you may be a leader. If not, your like over 95% of Americans.

"Leadership is the ability to combine knowledge with learned skills, teach them to others, then help guide their actions to get a desired result."

TIP: The semantics of vocabulary are SO vitally important in teaching and learning, partnerships and relationships, business and study. I can not overstate enough that you have a vocabulary worked out with everyone you come in contact with. (teacher, student, co-worker, boss, client, vendor, friend, parted, lover. Before you try to execute a plan with another person or group, make sure your all “speaking the same language”. So let’s go ahead an clarify a few things with our vocabulary:

First of all, my blogs and JRTV, are about understanding how to find balance in your life and enjoy the moments.

This is NOT Leadership.

Finding Balance in this is all about turning the knowledge you acquire into a disciplined set of goals and actions to meet those goals. That’s a Plan. (see issue 1). Balance does not make you a “Leader”, it puts you into a place to be personally happy with your life.

This is NOT Leadership.

Possessing Wisdom, is comprehending or “understanding” things you have learned in life. ie: going through things and being able to pull the lessons out of them and apply them moving forward in your personal journey.

This is NOT Leadership.

Success does not come from wisdom AT ALL! (refer to issue 1). Success comes from having a clear, defined goal, a plan to reach that goal, discipline and/or motivation to work the plan, and a never quit attitude to work until the goal is reached. (plenty of unwise people utilize a great plan and achieve success)

This is NOT Leadership.


The second thing I will tell you is LEARN YOUR WHEELHOUSE!

So we’ve established that 95% of career positions are not leadership, nor do they require becoming a “Leader” to accomplish them. Is it possible to apply leadership skills to some jobs and personal situations? Sure, HOWEVER….. what we are discussing is: What do you NEED to study and learn first? What do you need to do right now? What you need to do first, is become an EXPERT in your wheelhouse. This is a basic necessity to success and balance. Until you get the basics down for yourself, the last thing you should be thinking about is trying to lead others. Make sense?

If you have gotten through the steps in Issue 1, (to form a proper plan of action, and write into your plan, 4 questions to continually ask yourself), then you should be ready to study the heck out of your wheelhouse and become an expert at what you do.

What is a Wheelhouse you might ask? It’s a business term that means “the area of work you know and are experienced in”. It’s a box you put yourself, your company, and your products/services inside and say’, “We’re going to do these things and NOTHING else. We’re going to be great at these things and NOTHING else. We’re going to focus on this and NOTHING else.” Your wheelhouse is what you or your company does. And ALL great achievers figured out, that at least for a period of time, they had to become experts at ONE thing and one thing only, and not deviate from that. And if that thing offers a valuable product or service to enough people, you will be successful. There is no greater requirement for success than being an expert in your wheelhouse.

"There is no greater requirement for success than being an expert in your wheelhouse."

Let’s look at a few examples in business: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerburg. What do all these people have in common? They became EXPERTS in their Wheelhouses, which enabled them to become successful at enormous levels. They did not need to be inspirational leaders in order to succeed. Some of them like Steve Jobs, were looked at a bit more as leaders after their success, when people look to them because of the massive, huge, larger than life goals they accomplished, but not before then. (and 95% of you reading this fall into the “before then” category).

So how does one become an expert in their Wheelhouse? HINT: Not by reading leadership books. It requires thousands of hours of study and application. Bill Gates saw the era he was in, the technology that existed, and build a product that many people would want to use. He became an EXPERT in his wheelhouse. So did Mark Zuckergurg, Steve Jobs, your favorite actor, your favorite athlete, and your favorite musician. They all became experts in their wheelhouse first, then used that expertise to provide masses of people something of value. Is your favorite quarterback attempting to lead a church while on his way to the Super Bowl, or is he doing throwing drills 7 days/week? Did Michael Jordan become such a great shooter by reading Leadership books in high school/college, or by shooting 1000 free throws every day? Did Mark Zuckerburg become a billionaire at 22 by reading John Maxwells 21 Laws of Leadership, or by knowing the social media space so well that he created the largest used platform in the world?

The answer to all of these is obvious. These successful people all became experts in their wheelhouse by study and application. And so must you.

Now, do all or most people at theses successful levels NOW read John Maxwell books, attend leaderships events, learn from the best leader trainers in the world? Sure they do. Because of their success they are now looked up to by thousands to millions of people and are in a position to lead both in the workplace, and in public. AND do all of us benifit from basic leadership skills in our lives for things like being parents, inspiring a social group, or working with the kids on the tee-ball team? Sure we do. But this 12 part series is about smacking you in the head with a 2x4, and hitting reset on your life. It’s about STOP everything for a moment, strat over and let’s get organized and on track, THEN add the extras back on. So this means, all things not immediately crucial to your “GOALS” (see issue 1), forget it for now, and get yourself on track with a Plan, start the Plan, and work the Plan. (issue 1)


  • That means in your career wheelhouse and your personal wheelhouse.

  • Know your industry inside out. Know your relationships inside out.

  • Be the BEST at what you do! Be the best you, you can be to others.

  • Be the “Go To” person everyone in your business comes to for answers, and others come to for friendship.

  • Know exactly what you need to to meet your goals.

  • Be the best. Know the most. Work the hardest, care the most, and give the most.

If you can master the items above, you will be the master of your career wheelhouse and of your personal wheelhouse. This mastery allows you to have choices. Success is having choices. Choices of what to do for work and who to work with, who to spend time with and what kind of time, what experiences to enjoy and when to enjoy them. Mastering your wheelhouses gives you the ability to create balance in you life. It allows you to create balance with career, and balance in your personal life.

"Success is having choices. Choices of what do do for work and who to work with, who to spend time with and what kind of time, what experiences to enjoy and when to enjoy them."

It is this balance that allows your mind to be freer and enjoy more life moments. That’s what this whole thing (life) is about right? Enjoying the moments. The right balance of planing, studying, working, relaxing, playing, loving, caring, and giving, will give you a life full of Liv-Moments. Become a master of your Wheelhouses. Find balance. See what happens.


What should you do when your done with all that?….

KEEP STUDYING! In order to stay successful, you need to constantly be learning and studying your wheelhouse. If you stop, you will lose the balance. If you continue, you will achieve success after success. And what happens after that is amazing. You will put yourself in a position to take on real Leadership roles if you wish. The world NEEDS more leaders. In youth organizations, in government, in faith based organizations, in solution initiatives. Successful people have the option to be continually successful. Remember, one success at a time. Do things in order. Define your wheelhouse. Study it hard. Become an expert. Do this now, with immediate urgency and get to your goals.

Don’t miss issue 3, where we will discuss how to meet those goals by being a Giver, not a Taker.









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