Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C., founder of The Leadership Guide, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Leadership Guide was founded when I discovered the truth about the leadership development world - It doesn't work! Only 20% of "leadership development" is successful. I found that unacceptable - That's why I don't do leadership development anymore. Instead, I designed a new category called "Legendary Leadership," which looks not only at leadership skills but also at the "Psychophysiology of Leadership" and what I call the "Core of Leadership." The combination of these, mostly unlooked at facets, is what leads to true success for leaders.
I have looked at the science that truly impacts leadership success - including Flow Psychology, Neurocardiology, Kinesiology, Eudaimonology, Nutrition, Respiration, and more! All of these have dramatic impacts on the success of leaders and their organizations, and I have received certifications with the greatest organizations in these fields in order to be exceptional at helping leaders to become Legendary.
I mainly work with entrepreneurs, c-suite executives, and business owners to Unlock their Heroic Potential, Evolve into Legendary Leaders, Forge Ahead and Flourish!!
Tell us about yourself
I was doing extremely well in the corporate world; I was making progress in the financial side of the business, quickly getting noticed by the leaders around me, and having received multiple promotions in my short time there. Then it happened – our company was merged with another, and the other company was given complete control over everything. I watched as years of work on developing people, a positive environment, and helping to get the company gets out of some really bad situations almost overnight became a nightmare zone.
Over a third of the company was immediately laid off with essentially no notice – after having been told how "great" the merger would be for everyone – and over the next few months, around 80% of the company was gone without ever seeing the new CEO walk into the building to meet anyone that was there. I also watched new people take over different processes with values that didn't match my own, and I watched a lot of customers look for other solutions because they didn't like how things were being handled. That whole experience left a really terrible taste in my mouth, and eventually, I was let go during the final round of layoffs. In a way, I was lucky because I was told at the beginning of the merge that my entire department would be let go after a number of months and our only job was to train the team that was taking our work from us – though that process was not pretty.
After all of that, I asked myself, "Is this really what I want? Am I alright with the world being like this?" I decided I wasn't alright with it, and so I needed to figure out what I could do to change it. It was also around this time that I was first introduced to the "Personal Development" world, and I found the work of John Maxwell. His work on Leadership really inspired me to look at the world and not just see the challenges but have an understanding of why things were going wrong in so many areas. It was about that time I knew I had to do something about Leadership.
I later discovered that "leadership development" only has a 20% effective rate, and I couldn't accept that. So I began to design my award-winning system on "Legendary Leadership," and it's been a lot of fun looking not just at the skills of Leadership but also at the Psychophysiology of what makes leaders effective and what I call the "Core of Leadership"!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
More than the awards I've received, more than my articles in places like Forbes, and more than all of the certifications I've received from some of the most prestigious organizations, my biggest accomplishment is watching my clients continue to grow at amazing speeds and seeing them do incredible things!
I can't talk about all of my clients, non-disclosures, and such, but I can talk about one, in particular, that is exceptional! My clients, Maria and Adrian Salazar, who are the founders of Balcon 217 - check them out at https://www.Balcon217.com/ - went from having only an idea for a business when we started working together, where they are now doing marketing for huge businesses and for Hollywood movies! Watching clients as they grow is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been a part of!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being human! We all carry so much baggage with us as humans - from our education, from our past, and our parents, society, and culture at large - it is hard to get past and through all of those obstacles. It is possible if you receive the right help, but it is a constant struggle that every person faces, and it's why 50% of businesses fail in their first five years, and 90% have failed in their first ten years. The sad thing is that you can overcome it, but most simply don't get the help they need to make it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Tip for Becoming a Legendary Leader - If you think three tips will lead to your success and that's what you use to attempt to help you in your business, you will fail. You can read all the books, all the articles on business that exist, and you will likely still fail. These can help you get your journey started and may get you started on the right foot, but they won't sustain you through the five-year mark. If you want to truly be Legendary, you will need a large support network to help you get to your goals. This will include a Coach - such as myself - Mentors, Consultants, and potentially even Counselors to help you get where you want to get to. I myself have a group of over ten individuals that help me and my business in different facets outside of my team.
- Tip for Becoming a Legendary Leader - Learn how your Psychophysiology impacts your success as a leader. The reason that "Leadership Development" doesn't work - it doesn't take many factors of being human into account. I have seen leaders with all the right "Leadership Development" skills fail, while leaders without any formal training succeed at some of the highest levels. I have determined that leadership success has more to do with the Psychophysiology than it has to do with skills - though when you also add the skills, you can build on your success! There is very little literature about how the Psychophysiology directly impacts leadership success, so I have been learning from the top scientific minds in a variety of fields to learn the underlying processes and figure out how they directly apply to leadership success. It hasn't been an easy journey, but it has been rewarding! You can attempt to learn it on your own and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars as I did - or you can seek out individuals who already have that understanding and knowledge and can help you apply those concepts at the right time in the right places of your business.
- Tip for Becoming a Legendary Leader - Knowing your "Purpose" or your "Why" won't be enough to sustain your success. I have watched many amazing individuals with incredible "Purposes" and "Whys" fail in their businesses. Why is that? It's because they haven't gotten to the "Core of Leadership." Even with the most amazing reasons that their businesses should succeed, even when their businesses would offer an incredible service or product to the world, and even when others can easily see why those services and products are needed and are willing to pay for them, I watch many individuals continue to be haunted by what they lack - a true understanding of their "Core." I'm sure that you have felt that lingering feeling wrap itself around you, leaving you feeling like there isn't hope, like you aren't good enough to achieve this "why" or "purpose," that you don't have the energy or time to do it, that you aren't cut out to do it. In fact, you're probably thinking about it right now! This isn't just about "self-talk" either - that is the extent to which most people have an understanding of this, but there is something much, much deeper that we need to be able to understand, which self-talk will never be able to overcome on its own. It's a topic that most people don't really want to talk about it, but if you actually want to be Legendary, it's a requirement to understand - you need to know your "Core."
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
You were designed to be Legendary! The only thing that will prevent you from achieving what you are truly capable of - is getting the right help. The longer you wait to get that help, the more difficult it will become, and over 90% of individuals wait too long. Don't wait - Unlock your Heroic Potential, Evolve into a Legendary Leader, Forge Ahead and Flourish!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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