069 : Laura Johnston | Understanding Your Tendencies While Working with other People, and Why You need to Create a Follow-Up System

In this episode, we’ve got the Founder of High Impact Leadership, Laura Johnston. Laura has spent the last 20 years supporting and partnering with entrepreneurs. She is passionate about helping business leaders navigate the important steps to realize sustainable growth using proven models. While raising five children, she realized that real-life shows up in business and how prioritizing and building systems can allow business leaders to be more present in all of the things important to them.

We talk about the 4A’s she works with her clients. She talks about why it’s important to understand your tendencies while working with other people, and wraps up with why you need to create a follow-up system to continue your success. Check it out!

Laura’s learning journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:17

Let’s dive into it. The ability to learn and have access to people has drastically changed over the last 5 -10 years, in my opinion. When you and I were younger, it was textbooks and teachers and friends and family, the people around us and coworkers, but the reality is that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?

Laura Johnston:  02:41

Greatly changed.  I’m a mother of five and I always encourage my children to have experts in their life like trainers, coaches, and tutors. But I never really applied that to myself, until I transitioned out of parenting. I had typical university education.  It wasn’t until I started getting into communities where I had experts, coaches, mentors and trainers that grew my world and helped me think bigger. Those events and retreats changed my learning and my thinking.

The Mastermind Effect:  03:14

That’s the interesting thing. When you surround yourself with other people in other industries, they want to have results. You and I talked about beforehand that it’s the result leaders, not the thought leaders. When you get around that, it’s like a symbiotic relationship happens. You’re able to start plugging and playing on someone else from a completely different industry, but how it’s pertinent to you? How did you find out that was one of the biggest draws for you to lean that way?

Laura Johnston:  03:44

Well, I never thought about it before but you said that you’re looking for results. When you go get a university education but the result seems some time far in the future. When you start learning through others, you can fast track. When you surround yourself with people who are doing things that you can implement immediately proven systems.



The Mastermind Effect:  04:07

Yes, those proven systems. If you look at it, a lot of the time the professors and the people that are getting there might be the ones that haven’t implemented it recently. It’s more of that textbook and there’s a need for it. Talking about those professors and people we’re learning from; I think there’s a lot of ways to take in information. Almost too many where it can get a little confusing. Some people they choose to learn from a mentor, a mastermind, a coach, accountability partner, online courses, college, and lots of ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from? More importantly, how did you connect with them?

Laura Johnston:  04:50

It’s kind of organically. I met you through Steve Sims’ Speakeasy. I found several of my heroes by going to those types of events where it’s an intimate group of people who are experts in their in their industries or learning. At that event, I happen to bump into Michael Burt of Monster Producer. He’s now coaching us and it’s just a whole new impact. One of the gaps that I was missing is sales. I grew up in a life of entrepreneurs. My dad was quite the salesman, but I never learned sales. I love working with Michael Burt, looking at the Monster Producer, and how to sell and having a system around that; because that was a gap in my own company.

The Mastermind Effect:  05:52

Laura went and paid to play. By doing so, she found someone that she’s also probably paying to play but it’s taking you to a different level. It’s taking us to someone that’s got systems and has already got some of the stuff in place.

The Mastermind Effect:  06:29

Speaking of education, a lot of people like to get stuck. Sometimes we don’t know how to execute what’s in our head. We can’t see the forest through the trees.


Laura Johnston:  06:42

Can’t see the label from inside the jar.


The Mastermind Effect:  06:45

We’re still going through a pandemic and to me, it’s causing a reset in how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to reset yourself and get unstuck?

Laura Johnston:  07:01

In so many ways. All of my best lessons have been learned from somebody who has been vulnerable enough to share their mishaps. These are usually an environment at these masterminds. An environment where you can share what really worked, but also what really didn’t work. That’s really the fast track, right? When you can see both of those parts. It’s not just implementing what worked for someone, but it seemed what didn’t work and how that applies to you, and how you can implement that. It’s worth every penny I put into those events.

The Mastermind Effect:  07:36

It is. I’ve talked about this before, here’s the reality, not everything’s perfect. Not every penny that we spend always works out. But that being the case, surrounding yourself with the right people, you’ll be able to get to where you want to go faster and they’ll help you look out for what you can’t see coming around the corner.

Laura Johnston:  07:54

Well, that’s the cool thing, too. In the end these particular types of events, everybody’s there, not only for themselves but to give a hand up to someone else. It’s so impactful to be able to make someone’s world better and you get so much from it, right?

The Mastermind Effect:  08:09

We talked when we were at the Speakeasy months ago, but we didn’t connect in the way it was like, “Hey, so you guys do this, and you do this”. We shared a car ride because we had a common group that we were around.  From there, we got to learn a lot more about how we can serve each other, how we can help each other, and what both sides are doing. That’s the thing you don’t know. It’s when you’re not looking for a specific person, but you’re looking for a specific relationship. That comes through in those masterminds, events, and coaching experiences, in my opinion.

Laura Johnston:  08:47

Absolutely. There’s so many people that I have connected with, that I definitely was not looking for, but I was open to.

Self-Education and Laura’s reality

The Mastermind Effect:  08:54

Completely agree. We’re on masterminds, and they’ve been around for a while. Probably the first mastermind is the apostles. Then from there, Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo club and his Leather apron club. Then Napoleon Hill who writes a book and he really rounds it out. People understand the world of masterminds, as there continues to be a large boom in self-education. Where do you see the parallels going between self-education versus standardized education?

Laura Johnston:  09:28

I think there are parallels. Everything is virtual now and a lot of the coursework is lining up that you can go either self-teach or either in traditional education even to some degree. I’m surprised all my kids are in university right now. They are all on virtual learning and sometimes it feels like they are pretty much teaching themselves. One of the things that’s really cool is that they are owners of their education. I’ve been really proud of them for stepping outside the box. We live in this amazing internet world where you can search. If you take some ownership of your education, you can have exponential growth. I do think that in some ways, as sad as it is, that they’re paying full price for an education that should be with a professor.  Sometimes they’re forcing them to learn how to self-teach. I think that’s a cool place. It’s given us a lot of chance for dialogue, as well. It’s going to help our youth in a lot of ways to look outside of that box and find how to find ways to really jump the traditional education system.

The Mastermind Effect:  10:48

Yes, there’s still a purpose for it. I bet you in the next few years, we’re going to see some college students or group of college students that were living through this and they come up with something that is as grand as what we have seen built over the last 10 years like Facebook or an Instagram. It came out of necessity for how the world was changing.

Laura Johnston:  11:16

I feel like that with your Success Finder, right? There’s so much noise out there, and education and personal development bringing in some high value into one place. Your endeavor yourself is a perfect example.

The Mastermind Effect:  11:34

It came out in March of 2019, so it was pre COVID. It was my first mastermind that I was leaving. I’m creating a company based off of other people like Steve Sims and Gerard Adams, and that’s the power of it right there.

Laura Johnston:  11:59

That’s why it’s going to be so amazing because it’s come from both of those worlds.

The Mastermind Effect:  12:05

Absolutely. Typically, when someone invest in their future, they have a better than vague idea of what the outcome is going to be. They have some form of expectation. What should people expect when they enter your reality and work with High Impact Leadership?

Laura Johnston:  12:24

We coach the four A’s. The first A is awareness. Understanding your own values, who you are, what you have to offer, where your gaps are, being honest, and vulnerable enough with yourself to where your growth and development needs to be.

The second is assessments. I love using them as a starter for discussion, to find out how you communicate, and to know what questions to ask., I learned more about life in the questions that I started asking as a coach. I wish that I had parented more to that model when I was raising my five young kids. I love getting my clients through those and they learned so much about themselves. They recognize the potential where they can go.

The third is action and having a plan. Nothing’s going to change until you put those things into place. It can’t just be about motivation; it has to be about results. Many people have great ideas about what they want to do, what they want to change, and how they want to develop, but they don’t know how to implement it. We’re about getting to success and implementation.

Then the fourth A is achievement. Celebrate your successes. I think that’s an important component. You are constantly going through those four A’s in life because it’s a journey of development.

The Mastermind Effect:  14:00

List those four A’s out for me one more time so the listeners can hear them.


Laura Johnston:  14:05

Awareness, assessment, action, and achievement.

The Mastermind Effect:  14:10

The four A’s working with a high impact leadership. Those are important. When you find out you who you are by taking that assessment, that’s just eye opening.

Laura Johnston:  14:24

Well, it really is. We have this real basic little values sheet. That’s like 50 words have all these different values. We were doing it with a group coaching with our emerging leader platform, and they have so much fun doing it because you don’t really recognize what different words mean to you. Some of those words means the same thing until they have to reduce them from 50 words down to seven. Suddenly, you start understanding where your true values and importance and then how you base your decisions. It’s a self-discovery moment. It’s very cool.

The Mastermind Effect:  15:00

I feel that people have a way of surprising us whether it’s the grit, the grind, or their willingness to learn. Has anyone been through your coaching program and because of that, the result of working with you guys and the outcome was just like “Oh my gosh” moment for that person? Give us a success story of someone working with you and Travis.

Laura Johnston:  15:24

Recently, a couple of people from that platform that I was telling you about. This particular gal, is having hard conversations. Sometimes just recognizing why you’re struggling with, understanding of your own preferences and tendencies, understanding someone else, how you communicate better, and how you can have those hard conversations. If you just establish your intent, then it’s not a moment of conflict. It’s just a moment of understanding. It’s breaking down to those simple things. It is very basic but sometimes you forget those little bits. It can improve the relationship. That was a real help for her.

Another guy that we’re working with has similar situation. He was butting heads with a colleague that was about ready to leave. Understanding those communications like how the NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and how you like to be spoken to. Understanding that they’re telling us that if you’re an active listener, you can really understand how they like to be spoken to. Then you can mimic and mirror that communication with them. It brought them together. They’re actually working together happily and, have improved their organization because of it.

The Mastermind Effect:  16:54

That’s really powerful if think about it. One person is getting ready to leave, then the other person understands their tendencies and how other people’s tendencies. Again, when there’s a conversation going, there’s already one conversation in your head, one conversation in their head, and then one conversation that might be going on right in the middle. I’ve got to imagine that’s unbelievably important and valuable to be able to recognize that going into something.

Laura Johnston:  17:21

Like I was saying earlier, sometimes you cannot see that when you’re inside the jar. The value of having a coach to bounce that off of in a confidential and safe place. We have coaches too. Not only do we like coaching to that, but we have coaches that we get to do that same thing with and it’s super valuable.

Creating Success

The Mastermind Effect:  17:40

I talk with my coaches about success. We talk about success on the solo shows, what does it take, and what are the pillars of success. Few of them are mentorship, partnerships, experimentation, willingness to fail, and on the flip side, willingness to succeed. When you define success, you in essence, have defined failure. That’s why we don’t often define success, because it scares us. What do you feel is a key ingredient when it comes to being successful?

Laura Johnston:  18:15

Travis and I have been talking a lot about rhythms and having kind of a routine around that creates a heartbeat, so that you have space for when things go up or when they go great. Thinking space and having some systems around. We have a morning routine, we have a routine with our team of communication, we have some of these routines in place and it leaves a lot of space when you have that at least space for other cool things to happen.

The Mastermind Effect:  18:51

Having those rhythms and routines and knowing how to recognize so you can tether when something’s coming your way. You can tether it to a previous thing and sit down and say, “Oh, I’ve seen this before I know how to tackle this. I know how to maneuver around that.” Is that what you’re saying?

Laura Johnston:  19:07

I don’t know if that was what I was saying. That was probably really way better. For me, it’s just I love my creative space. I don’t have it when I’m not following my routine for my day. If I start out in a mess, my day is a mess. I like to have that routines, structures, and my thinking systems that work for my life. It’s different for everybody and you have to find your own rhythm. It’s important to have that structure so that you have you have the space for the unstructured things, right?

The Mastermind Effect:  19:49

A key element when finding the right coach when working with Laura, and High Impact Leadership is to have someone that’s going to help pull that out and create that structure and rhythm.

As we’re coming to the end here. I feel there’s always new ideas brewing, when in times of prosperity. It’s like when the world’s winning, it’s easier to succeed. It’s just happening around you. I think ingenuity and creativity come when we feel the squeeze, and we are still kind of feeling the world still feeling the squeeze? What are you working on right now, that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?

Laura Johnston:  20:45

Many things are exciting us right now. The last year for us was a time of reflection. We came across so many people who’s 2020 was amazing. I know that a lot of people suffered and it wasn’t great. But it was pretty cool to be able to surround ourselves with people who had just made the best of it and pivoted in ways to get really excited. That’s what we did. We just surrounded ourselves with people who are doing cool things.

In the upcoming year, we are excited about our coaching platforms for getting monster leaders and teams and creating a platform and systems around hiring and training talent. The behaviors needed for cohesive teams that are free of drama and dysfunction and getting management teams into better communication. We’re excited about that, as well as, working with Coach Bert in the Monster Producer. We’re excited about activating prey drive, and helping our clients to understand the value and what service they provide, and being able to talk about it and talk about what they believe in what they’re what they’re really selling. And then having structures and systems around selling it. And the follow up really creating a follow up system that’s more about customer engagement, not just customer service. In April, our Emerging Leader, it’s a 12-week program for those who are ready to take their career to the next level in an economical and jumpstart pace.

The Mastermind Effect:  22:25

Last one. What is a tip tactic, national item that if someone listening to this right now implemented over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they would see a real impact on their personal or business life?

Laura Johnston:  22:54

I think if you’re a producer that is worried about your production, as we’re having to pivot to new ways of selling our products and services, “follow up system” is huge key. Making time to follow-up with your past clients and new leads and making that priority in the new year is going to be amazing for and if you don’t know how to do that, call me. I’m excited for implementing this into our own company as well as my clients.

The Mastermind Effect:  23:29

What Laura’s talking about right there is unbelievably important. People will be floored when you create a system that looks that might be a complex in the beginning, but you can eventually set it on some form of an autopilot. The results that come back with the people that you work with, and the impact that it makes. It’s tough to put a number on it. I can tell you coming from someone that has one of my companies has over 8000 customers.  How do you stay in front of them?  It’s important to have that follow up system. I love it. This is why we sit there and say, if you give them everything, then you know we want to give them a reason for why they need to reach out to you and work with High Impact Leadership.

We have got the founder of High Impact Leadership, Laura Johnston. Thank you so much for your time today and look forward to seeing what you guys have going on in the rest of 2021.

Laura Johnston:  24:26

Thank you, Brandon for having me. I’m so excited to watch your 2021 as well.

Tweetable Quotes:

“I’m a mother of five, and I’ve always encouraged my children to have experts in their life trainers, coaches, and tutors.” – Laura Johnston

“Getting into communities with experts helped me to do bigger, and really changed my learning and thinking.” – Laura Johnston

“Nothing’s ever going to change unless you put those things and plans into action.” – Laura Johnston

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn or email her at Laura@highimpactleadership.us

Connect with Travis on LinkedIn or email him at travis@highimpactleadership.us

Be one of the first adopters of The Success Finder when it releases! Email me at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, send me a message or an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can move beyond your limits.

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