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5 Gifts Legacy Leaders Give to Create Value

Mike Barbata is a legacy leader all of my listeners can learn from and be inspired by. Mike is the CEO of Jet Delivery and a garage to Goliath story in his own right. Mike started in the garage bay at Jet Delivery and worked his way to the Goliath position of the owner and CEO of the company.

I’m fortunate to tell this story of an unsung hero of business leadership and caring for and contributing to community.

Mike understands, practices, and lives out the truism that people are the most important part of business; profits are a by product of treating people well and creating value for people. He was humble and candid to share about a time when he wasn’t leading well. He said, when he first started out in business leadership he didn’t really care about the people that much and realized that wasn’t leadership, that was just having a hierarchical title.

He reiterated to me, that leadership is being a team and he never says that people work under him or work for him, rather that people work with him.

From experience of not leading well, he was able to course correct and now talks about the 5 gifts he wants to give his employees:

1. Motivation - Learning what is meaningful to each individual and motivating them in a personal way. 

2. Goals - Giving each individual clear, concise, goals, with accurate measurement so they know when they are successful.

3. Recognition - Celebrating their efforts and recognizing them as people - including learning about their family, their spouse’s name, what their kids are like, and what is important in their life outside of work.

4. Purpose - Creating the environment for each person to know their work is greater than them and greater than just collecting a paycheck.

5. Challenge - Issuing the opportunity for each person to develop and grow into the next best version of themselves. 

Mike says of his company these five gifts keep his people engaged in the mission and betterment of the company; prioritizing these gifts makes his company better and more successful than he could have ever imagined.

Wow! These are special, invaluable gifts legacy leaders can give to people. Prioritizing these gifts in your company will turn you, from a leader in title only, into a true legacy leader. I contend, if you treat people well, fulfilled people will go out of their way to make your company better and it will blow your mind how much value they will create for your company.

Enjoy this garage to Goliath story of how Mike Barbata went from waking up in a stupor, in a gutter thinking, ‘I need to get a job’ to changing lives with his business.


Lead well, 




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Garage to Goliath on iTunes Garage to Goliath on SoundCloud

Show Notes:
• Meet Mike Barbata and hear his aha moment of waking up from a stupor in a gutter [1:27]
• What piqued Mike’s interest to purchase 10% of Jet Delivery and what was the evolution to buy the company [3:20]
• What did it look like for Mike to get funding to buy the company [5:45]
• Mike talks about how he molds and cares for the company culture of jet Delivery [8:19]
• Mike shares the importance of training your people in every area in the business [10:07]
• How Mike helps a new employee help understand the company culture [11:12]
• What does leadership mean to Mike [13:15]
• Mike shares a story about a time when he wasn’t leading well [14:49]
• The biggest challenge for Mike’s company [16:54]
• Mike’s strategy to create an effective vision [18:47]
• How does Jet Delivery compete with the big dogs [21:20]
• Mike talk about Jet Delivery’s big why beyond profits [23:22]
• Mike talks about the most important decisions he makes for his business related to strategy, finance, or people  [27:16]
• The one trait Mike looks for in his top people [29:11]
• Mike talks about what he thinks is the optimal number of direct reports to a CEO [30:20]
• Mike’s leadership style to achieve professional freedom  [30:55]
• What does Mike spend his time thinking about [32:54]
• Mike’s shares about succession planning in a family business [34:00]
• The advice Mike would give his 20-year-old self [36:37]
• Mike’s work-life presence [37:55]
• The life advice Mike gives to his kids and grandkids [39:32]
• What would make Mike more fulfilled today [40:00]
• The causes that are meaningful to Mike [41:32]
• The life-changing mentor in Mike’s life [44:15]
• Mike tells how he wants his children to describe him to his grandchildren (and it's inspiring) [47:10]

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.