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7 Questions with Dave Jackson
7 Questions with Dave Jackson
Name: Dave Jackson
Current title: Consultant, Speaker, Author
Current organisation: School of Podcasting
Dave Jackson began podcasting in 2005 and launched the School of Podcasting (schoolofpodcasting.com). His School of Podcasting show has over 2.7 million downloads. He has helped hundreds of people plan, launch, and grow their podcasts. In 2018 he was inducted into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Staying focused on my customers and not on my competition. Comparing yourself to others will set you up to have your soul sucked out of you. Focus on your customers, and you set yourself up to serve which always makes me feel better.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have been helping people understand technology for decades. I used to lead classes on "how to send email" and "surfing the Internet." So when podcasting came along, and saw how this had the ability to communicate on a global basis, I knew it was going to change the world.
I started the School of Podcasting, and for the first 305 years, it was BRUTAL. It took forever to explain what a podcast was, and once the person I explained it to understand what a podcast was, they would then explain how they didn't want to start one.
I joke, but it's true. The reason I'm seen as an expert is that I didn't quit. I just passed 16 years in podcasting in April 2021. I still believe podcasting can change the world.
As a teacher, you have to keep up with the ever-changing world. If I'm not learning, I'm going backward. My first job out of college I worked for a company that had a giant sign in a room where we would meet, "CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT." It has been my motto ever since.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I get up and do a quick meditation around the bible. I exercise for 30 minutes and get ready for the day. I go to work and help people with their podcasts. I'm checking in with clients and being that sounding board, accountability partner, a mentor that they need to keep moving forward. I use todoist.com to keep on track, and Evernote to jot down my thoughts and ideas.
When evening comes, I like to go hiking/walking while listening to audiobooks. Typically during the day, I will pick up a guitar for 5-15 minutes. For me playing the guitar is so much better than aspirin. It is my #1 stress reliever and has been since I was the age of 12.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
A teacher told me when I was a BEYOND SHY kid, "Act the way you want to be and someday you will be the way you act." So, I started pretending I was outgoing. I've also learned to just be myself. Those that like me, will work with me. Those that don't, won't (and that's OK).
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt is something I read every January. At this point, it is a "back to basics" on connecting with your audience/customers. As a podcast consultant, I tell people all the time, "It's not the tech" and this book reinforces that. There is A LOT of noise in the world, and this reminds me to not get distracted by the latest shiny thing and stay focused on my customers/audience.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
I think it has to do with being a teacher. I'm always open to learning new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. I live, eat, breathe, where my audience is so I know what they want and need. I spent a week interviewing randomly selected people from my email list. I just wanted to see what they were up to, what they were struggling with and needed. If I knew how to help, I helped. If I didn't I start the process of figuring out how to solve their issue.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
While money and oppotunities are great, I've had people that have told me listening to my podcast helped them change their mind about committing suicide. They credit me with saving their life.