Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?
John: Something that I believe people would find surprising is that I apply a very healthy objective sense of skepticism to life. I don’t just attribute things that happen to being psychic or metaphysical. I like to explore the logical before embracing the paranormal. Oh yeah, and I’m pretty direct and blunt. Many people are taken aback when I read for them as a result.
Adam: How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
John: I think that what shifted my direction in my life was the death of my mother at the age of 48, when I was just 19. I had already been doing psychic work for four years, but her passing become an insatiable desire to know more about the afterlife. It created a desire to learn more and that need to know that she was ok and still with me became my driving force.
Adam: Why do you believe you have enjoyed such great success in television? What can readers interested in careers media, entertainment and broadcasting learn from your experience?
John: My philosophy and the one that I am teaching my daughter Olivia, who is an actress playing Duke on FX’s Better Things is that one shouldn’t strive for fame. The goal should be to follow your passion and seek accomplishments instead. Fame is fleeting, unforgiving, and intoxicating if a person is not in balance. Accomplishments are long lasting, a legacy of all your efforts quilted together. My goal professionally, as well as personally, is to leave people better than I found them.
Adam: What are the best lessons you have learned through your career in television that are applicable to those who will never earn a living in front of or behind the camera?
John: The thing that stands out for me from TV was how hard the crew, producers, editors all work to create whatever project they are working on. The lesson for me here would be that collaborative energy when focused and guided can build anything, from an idea to a building.
Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?
John: I think to be an effective leader, you have to be a really good listener. I think it is imperative to listen not only to an individuals words, but to try to understand their intentions and why they are saying the words they are feeling. To take leadership skills to the next level is to do that with as much objectivity as possible and to see your organization being comprised of individuals forming that team. When you collectively have the collage of thoughts, feelings and intentions told to you, as a leader, you can make informed decisions.
Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?
• Don’t be afraid to fail often because it means you are not just trying, but doing.
• Listen, pause, process and then speak.
• Write things down. Create organizational charts. Make it big on white boards. Have your teams give you honest feedback – being detached and getting concepts out of you helps to start a dialogue.
Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
John: Make sure you are passionate about your profession, so you never have to work a day in your life.
Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?
John: Appreciate what is happening everywhere connected to you and share that gratitude with friends, family and groups you’re connected to. Say thank you more often and mean it.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
John: I love to travel. Traveling and seeing different places forces you to think outside of your comfort zone by experiencing new places, languages, food and cultures.
Adam: Is there anything else you would like to share?
John: People seek out the services of a medium because they want to know that their loved ones and friends are ok and survived physical death. My wish is that folks take the opportunity to be a leader in their own family and circle of friends. To lead by communicating with the folks in their lives while they are still here. Time is always passing, and there is no time like the present to have real expressive conversations. Appreciate people for who they are, and validate their thoughts and feelings even if you share that you’re not in agreement with them. Communicate, appreciate and validate are the words I like to leave people with at the end of my events. If you can do that with the loved ones living in your life, then when a passing takes place, we don’t have to wonder, how did they feel?” or “did they knew how we felt about them?” Simply, because we told them. So, if you are reading this today, I task you to leave people better than you found them.