This summer I had the amazing opportunity of interning with Lewis Howes. In the case you have never heard of him, Lewis Howes is an author, serial entrepreneur, investor, speaker and former two sport collegiate All-American. His podcast, The School of Greatness, is on the Top 50 of ITunes every month. And his book, The School of Greatness: A Real World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy, is a New York Times Bestseller.
While I could probably say a lot about Lewis, I’m going to focus on sharing the top 5 things I learned from him, as it relates to character.
- Appreciation and gratitude. I recall the very first phone conversation I had with Lewis. One of the very first questions he asked me was, “What are you grateful for?” Beyond talking about it in his podcast, Lewis is committed to living from a place of gratitude in real life. And this sense of gratitude extends towards the people in his life, including his team. As an intern, I got to see this and experience this firsthand. I’ve been in a number of jobs during my lifetime. Some employers and organization leaders have shown more appreciation than others. With Lewis, I found a leader that stood out because he demonstrated his appreciation for me in both word and deed.
- Surround yourself with friends that help you stay grounded. If you know anything about Lewis, one thing you’ll find is that the man likes to hustle. Whether it be interacting with audience on social media, recording his podcast, or creating his events, Lewis is a hard worker. One day we were having a deep conversation about visionaries, both in the past and present, as it relates to their family life and dedication to their work. It was quite an interesting conversation, as we talked about the intricacies of being an individual with a big vision. And I noticed something, there was something that, too a certain degree, differentiated him from other visionaries. Lewis had a long-time close friend (and team member), Matt, that, in my observation was instrumental in helping Lewis stay grounded. Matt, for instance, sometimes will get Lewis to take a healthy break from work for a moment. And it is in small things like this that, such a friend, positively impacts Lewis’ well-being.
- Even when you’re well-known, treat everyone with love. Some successful people and celebrities can be real jerks. They treat their fans badly or don’t even interact with them. One day, Lewis, Matt and I were walking down a street in West Hollywood when, all of a sudden, a guy pulled over his car to say hi to Lewis. Lewis did not mind. As the guy pulled to the curb, Lewis simply started talking to him. Lo and behold, the guy was Larry King’s stepson! Lewis had connected with Larry King before; however, this encounter helped lead to this. (Pretty cool, huh?) Beyond a car pulling to the curb, I saw Lewis engage in conversation with listeners and countless other people that would recognize him on the street, a restaurant or at an event that was not his own that he was attending.
- Be a student. Despite all his success, he approaches life from the mentality of a student, unafraid to learn from other successful people. When he finds different practices, strategies or tools that other people are using that are creating results, he looks for ways to then implement those things into his work.
- Listening/Inviting Feedback. Listening is a skill. And as a “Top 50 Podcast” interviewer, it is a skill that Lewis obviously has. However, beyond his podcast, let me tell you – Lewis invites the people around him to give him feedback. He does this with his team, his interns, his audience and his coaches. In the world of business, I have often noticed that the biggest flops in products are the result of not listening to your marketplace and/or soliciting your tribe’s feedback. In life, some of our biggest flops come from…not listening or soliciting feedback. While you may not always agree with people (and Lewis from time to time does not), listening and inviting feedback are very important. And I think THIS has been a big part of Lewis’ success.
If you would like to learn more about Lewis or check his podcast out, visit: lewishowes.com.