Reverse Engineering as a Successful Leadership Method

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Reverse Engineering as a Successful Leadership Method

Reverse Engineering as a Successful Leadership Method With J Haleem

Sean: Now, with leading your own people, like you got 18 people working with you now, what are the three things that you use from a day-to-day basis? I understand that integrity still going to be part of it. Authenticity as well. Relationship building is more about getting your network, and that’s really important stuff when you’re an entrepreneur.

But are there any other differences between how you lead and manage your people and these three major principles that you’ve got in life?

J Haleem: Me and my people, is all about what they want and people don’t like to hear that. Especially owners of businesses. Like when I hire somebody, I want to know what you want to get out of it. Not saying this is what I want. What do you want to get out of it? Because if I can provide that for you, I’m going to do it. This eliminates excuses, you know. If you come in here and all you want to do is make money and I feel like I need your services. I’m gonna put you in a position where you can make money. Now for that person, I’m having; going to be a lot hard on that person because it’s transactional, you know?

So you’re here for the money, right? But if you’re knocking out the park, we have no problem because it is all about the transaction. Some people want to learn, you still gonna make some money, but they want to learn. I’m going to put you in that position so that you can learn. It might be a little hard, but not as hard on the other person.

It would be a little harder on you because that’s how you learn and put you in positions where you can actually grow, where you’re going to stumble a little bit, but this is how you’re going to learn with hands on. You know?

So I tell people all the time, give people what they want. By the time when you start telling people do this, you’re going to lose them real quick because they don’t like it. They’re going to be undermining. They’re going to be trying to do other things, trying to find other places to work.

I have a client right now who I consult literally, you know, he has a high-end trucking company. He hired the guy and not even a week, he got his truck at FedEx, applying for a job with his truck, with his 18 wheeler. You understand what I’m saying, so it was something going on in the hiring process with that. You know what I mean? So at the end of the day, what did you want out of it? 

You know, reverse engineering that and getting and saying, “Hey, what do you want out of this job? What do you want out of this position? I know this is what we need. But what are you going to get out of it? How can working with me benefit you  for your career?

What’s the vision? This is the vision for my company. What vision can you see? Can you create within our vision for yourself? Because the people not getting what they need to get, they’re going to leave. They’re going to leave and that’s just the truth. Of course, you know, being cognizant of everybody that everybody’s different. So you gotta deal with each individual differently.

You know, there’s no favoritism, but again, some people need certain things at different times. They get it’s like somebody losing a family member. You’re going to show a little extra love to that person this week, or this month. No favoritism. But a lot of managers, and owners don’t know how to do that.

It’s just, everything is about the bottom line. You create the community and if you can’t do anything, these are the people you’re going to be counting on. They’re still bringing money for you to take care of your family. So you gotta be cognizant of that.

Sean: Yeah. Let’s play that out a little bit further.

When you say that you want them to get what they want, how far do you go to meet that? For example, what they say, I don’t, I know this sounds a little bit shallow, but when, when they say I want, I want my own. I want my own house. Right. So it’s not like I want security for my family, but really tangible things.

I’m just trying to make it easier for you. How far do you go to meet that? Do you give them a bigger salary? What does it look like?

J Haleem: Oh, no, no, no. Not nothing like that, but what this is like, okay. I’ll give you an example. My assistant, who you talk to right now? Well, she’s also a book coach, that’s how I hired her.

She helped me with my book and you know, so I put her in a position where she can have an office, and she can have a place to actually still do her business on the side in my company. So instead of you going to somebody else, you gotta do it on the side and take you away, let me make room for you to be able to do what you need to do within my company.

And so that you can still be safe and comfortable doing it. Now her price point is higher. You know what I’m saying? She can charge more because before she was doing it from my house, now you have an office space. Now you look better. You know, you have more equipment, you have more things at your disposal.

You know, you have a team at your disposal to help you get a project done. So now you can charge more. And she does, she’s charging almost three times the amount at this point, she’d been with me for two years. So that is helping her have what she wants. So why would she leave me? Why would she not want to do what she needed to do for me?

This is, the machine has helped you be able to do what you need to do. So that’s a perfect illustration of what that looks like.

Sean: That’s really good stuff, J, before we end this and I learned a ton, we are better for it. What will be your, you know, the pandemic happened, a lot of businesses closed down.

I just came from the mall yesterday with my wife. We had a checkup somewhere in the hospital, went to the mall for dinner. Now we look around and used to be a bustling mall – a lot of stores open. Here in the Philippines malls are super big, cause you got air-con every day and it’s pretty hot and these stores are just closed.

Look, it’s still a sad thing to see that, you know, after two years almost of the pandemic hitting us and lockdowns happening. What would be your best advice for entrepreneurs who are still in that rut, where they’re just trying to think if they’re going to throw in the towel and finally give up?

J Haleem: Don’t give up. Shift. You got to shift. You have to shift. I heard this years ago that the smartest people in business know when to let something go, and not hold on to something. So they always say the new normal, you know, certain things that we have before the pandemic is never going to be in there, you know, and you have to be that person.

Don’t be a blockbuster. Don’t be a Kodak. There’ll be these people, you know a series of robots. Don’t be these people that don’t shift in business with the time. Get some training, get that certification right now. Some people are offering it for free now. And learn something else, learn a new skill, get to meet some new people when you go to a new city.

You know, some, every city is not shutting. Now I know it’s here, you know, Atlanta, Georgia, it never shut down. This whole state of Florida never shut down, if you want to work in the states, go to Georgia, go to Florida, Texas, that’s another state that barely ever shut down. So, you know, Elon Musk must’ve moved his whole company to Texas.

So, you know, you have to be willing to shift. The people who didn’t shift as the ones who – cause it was so much opportunity as entrepreneurs. I always told people, I said this all through the pandemic. The pandemic is and was horrible for health. But in business, the pandemic can be anything. You know, you think about the people with Uber, you know, taxi cab drivers, Uber were there in pandemic at some, at one point, you know.

The pandemic can be you getting sick. Or without COVID-19, you still have other things, so you have, we had a thousand-year flood in 2015 here. That’s a pandemic. You have businesses underwater here. That’s, for a business that was just like the pandemic. What did they do? They rebuild, they went and got another space.

They got government assistance. And when it head-on and did something different. You can’t just keep trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Like if that’s gone, if you had skills enough to build one thing, you can build something else. Now we get too sentimental about certain things and I get it, maybe you raised your kids in that business.

Maybe you raise your kids with the revenue from that business. I get it. But you gotta shift, you have to shift and you have to pivot. Everybody saying that word during the whole pandemic in the height of it, pivoting. Nobody likes to hear it now, but it’s a fact, it’s a paradigm shift now. Things are different and it’s okay for you to go ahead and learn a new skill, but you got to continue to get better. You have to continue to learn things. 

I’m in classes now, still getting better. I’m going for a master coaching class as, as we speak right now that I paid for out of pocket, you know certification. So, because I want to continue to earn, I want to continue to earn more. I want to go to a bigger market and be able to compete.

And so I know when investing, that’s how I’m going to get it, but if you don’t have it, I mean, the government gave people hundreds of millions of dollars over here. So somebody got the money. I hope you not, you know spend it on the wrong thing. Reinvest the goods, your business back up.

Sean: Wow. That’s good stuff.

I mean, props to the government over there that help support people in the small business owners. We don’t get that here at all. You got to make do in what you got and that’s what makes an entrepreneur.

J Haleem: I’ll tell you one story real fast before we go. Like, you know, getting running of the media company, we doing photography and film.

Well, we didn’t have any film you know, jobs since then. We have major, major workshops and things like that. I mean, we fly to different places, California filming functions, and all over the country, that stuff has shut down. You know, I wrote a book during the pandemic. I started doing virtual trainings during the pandemic and my book, “U wont to starve.”

I wrote that at the height of the pandemic, it’s a training manual. Well, people started buying my book because they get their training and then now, you know, okay, we need you to do a training. We’re going to do it virtually. So now I’m doing virtual training all over the world because of the pandemic. So it’s created this opportunity as well as it took away opportunity. Some of us got those 10, 15, $20,000 jobs that we don’t have anymore.

Now, some of them are starting to come back around as things open up, but it’s very, very slow. It’s not sustainable to what we were used to business wise, but we had to create other places. So here you are. You have to keep it going, keep it going. Keep doing different things.

Sean: Good stuff. That’s good stuff. I agree with you a hundred percent.

And J, if people want to buy your book, if people want to get in touch with you, what are some of the best places for them to get them?

J Haleem: Everything is They can Google me, Google J Haleem. Everything about me pops up. Either one of my books. I won’t starve. U won’t starve, all that stuff are on my website.

U won’t starve and you won’t starve as well, pretty much online, anywhere, books and so. Of course, Amazon, Walmart are pretty much everywhere, but definitely the best place is my website. You can find all of them. Morning Motivation is the baby and new so it’s on Amazon. It’s on my website. I think it was on a couple of other ones, but it hasn’t gotten the circulation yet, but it’s going away a little bit like a little over a month old. But our books are pretty much anywhere online wherever you shop for books, but come to my website, see some of our clothing and all of the stuff we got.

Sean: For those of you listening, we’re going to have all of those links on the show notes. Just look for J Haleem on We’re going to have all the links there, his LinkedIn profile, everything to make it easier for you. Hey J, thanks so much for being here. I really appreciate you giving your time.

I know it’s 10:00 PM there. You might be sleepy

J Haleem: I’m good man, thank you much.

Sean: So happy to learn from you, to hear from you, to listen to your story. That is an amazing story. You got there and we are better for it.

J Haleem: No problem. And if you guys are doing something over there, I travel, I got a passport. So let’s, let’s work something out, man. I want to see what you guys are doing in the Philippines.

Sean: Yeah. Whenever you’re here, or if you’re coming over, hit me up, I’m gonna fetch you from the airport. I live nearby. I’m going to show you around.

J Haleem: I love it. I love it, man. I really appreciate you. Thank you, love what you’re doing man.

Sean: No problem. Thanks so much.

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