Hey, podcast family! We have an exciting guest on the podcast this week and next. Rob Hoskins, President of OneHope and co-author of Change Your World, joins John Maxwell and Mark Cole in Guatemala to talk about what they’re currently learning and what they are most excited about.
Rob and John discuss what it means to be a leader who provides what the people actually need, and how to practice veracity in the midst of turbulent times. This was such an incredible conversation that we had to turn it into two parts! So be sure to tune in this week and next week to hear the whole discussion.
Our BONUS resource for this series is the “Leadership, Communication, and Veracity Worksheet,” which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.
Mark Cole: Hey, welcome back to the John Maxwell Leadership podcast. Mark Cole here. And I'm excited particularly about bringing this podcast to you today. As you know, at the John Maxwell leadership podcast, we are committed to adding value to you and growing your influence. And today that's exactly what's going to happen all the way from Guatemala City, Guatemala. Now, why are we here? Why are we doing a podcast? That is a long story. We are here doing transformational work and we had our event canceled. Hundreds of people turned away, because of new COVID implications here in Guatemala. But don't worry, because I'm sitting backstage in a green room waiting for the next opportunity to add value with none other than John Maxwell here live today. And with his friend, co-writer Rob Hoskins in the studio, is this really a studio guys?
Rob Hoskins: You're stretching that one big time.
John Maxwell: Well, we made it a studio. I mean, we're making lemonade right now. You know what I'm saying? This is our lemonade studio.
Mark Cole: And that's exactly what John has taught all of us to do. When something happens, you pivot and you still look for opportunities to add value. So today you're getting an unprecedented, never done this before, but it is going to be a day worth the investment you put into this podcast. Now, before I throw it over to John, because today we're going to talk about something I believe is really going to help you in the podcast. I've got to introduce you to our friend, Rob Hoskins. Now, many of you on the podcast, you know Rob Hoskins, because you've already picked up the book, Change Your World. If you haven't picked up his book Change Your World, you need to pause the podcast now, you need to go to changeyourworld.com and you need to pick up the book. You need to take the free assessment there. You need to join the round-table. But you do know Rob perhaps, as John's co-writer of the book, Change Your World, but you don't know Rob the leader, I would imagine.
And Rob, I can't tell you how much John and I both respect you, love you, glad to call you friend, glad to be impacting the world together, God did we change the world. But here's what I'd love to do. Take a couple of minutes and just describe to our podcast listeners, what you've been doing with your life. What are you doing man?
Rob Hoskins: There's a great opening line on a podcast, "What have you been doing with your life?" Well, first of all, just a joy to be here with you guys always is, always honored, always humbled. John is a great mentor of mine was a mentor of mine before I ever met him, because of his books and his teaching. And so, it felt like I and John, you just have this gift. You've you fall in love with John Maxwell before you even know him. And then you get to know him and you fall in love with him even more. And that's been the journey for me with John, the closer I've gotten to John and the more I love John, because everything he teaches, everything he writes he's lived and he's real and he's authentic. So anytime I can get an opportunity to be with him, I am. So, with the launching of this in Spanish and being here in Guatemala, I was on the plane and just a joy to be here.
And Mark, I've just learned to love your leadership so much and just to be a part of writing this book. But even more than that, becoming more a partner here with the John Maxwell enterprises and all that you do around the world to add value to people on the team. And I counted as one of the great joys and privileges of this season of my life. Yeah, a little bit about myself and what I do. I grew up internationally. I grew up in the country of Beirut, Lebanon, and then I lived five years in France before I came to the United States. So although my parents were Americans, I really wasn't native to the U.S.. And so, I've always had this keen awareness of cross-cultural, speak several languages. And so, I always knew that I would invest myself in the world and what a great time to be a global person in a globalized connected world that we live in right now.
My father started an organization out of a vision to add a value to children. He was one of the leading publishers in the world. We produced all kinds of foreign language materials and published those. But we started an organization called OneHope together about 32 years ago. And so, I've been with OneHope for 32 years, and we've grown it into one of the largest publishing entities in the world and our whole vision behind it was how do we provide true value through our curriculum, through our programs, through our books, through our materials, now moving into digital films, a bunch of different mediums, to kids around the world? And so, that's what I spent my entire life doing is building these transformational programs for children, young people in all different types of cultures. So OneHope, we're in 172 countries. We have actual offices in about 140 countries right now.
On a yearly basis, we'll through our programs, 320 different programs that we run, we'll reach this year. I think our goal is 135 million kids.
Mark Cole: Just this year, 135?
Rob Hoskins: This year through our programs. That's our goal, that's our expectation. And cumulatively, we've been able to touch the lives of 1.7 billion children in about 600 different languages that we do our material in. So it's been an incredible journey and privilege to take an organization that my dad founded and that I've been leading now for about 17 years and have an amazing team of OneHopers around the world that carry out these programs and just measuring transformation in through these programs in these kids' lives has been something that under my leadership, when I took over from my dad was really the focus of what I wanted. We really have built what we call outcome-based programs, where we're able not only to build programs that people want to use and they're excited about, that's how we've grown so fast obviously, because people have found some value in them. But I really wanted to know as a leader, am I really making a difference in someone's life? And how do you measure that?
So everybody's talks a lot about transformation, it's a real buzzword these days, but I found that very few people actually know how to properly define transformation and even fewer know how to measure whether it's actually taking place. And that's really been one of the things that has driven my leadership and has driven, been a passion in my heart in life. And what I found is that it is possible that if you're committed, you can almost measure anything in life. And it's through that measurement that we really know whether we're substantively to the degree that we're changing lives and that we're changing communities and people's lives are being transformed, is through what we call this outcome-based approach to our business, our enterprise and everything we do.
Mark Cole: So, 135 million kids this year, John. 1.7 billion kids overall. Was it hard to figure out if Rob was somebody you wanted to write a book with.
John Maxwell: It's an IQ test. My influence reached 10 people last year. So, I immediately-
Rob Hoskins: Right. Here we go, here we go, here we go. This is always hilarious to me. Now, John goes into this self-depreciation mode about how little he is and how big I am. Okay.
John Maxwell: Let me say something Rob.
Rob Hoskins: You know what Mark? I'm really tired of carrying this guy, you know what I mean? This John Maxwell guy, he is a load to carry, he's such a drag.
John Maxwell: Hit the ball, drag John. Hit the ball, drag John. Hit the ball, drag John. I think that's well, okay. It wasn't 10, but let me put it this way. If I over-exaggerated, honestly, I still would not get to the influence level that you've had through OneHope. And honestly, that's all my life I have brought better people, bigger people around me. And that's why I am where I am. I don't know too many people that have been successful by bringing smaller people around them. When I'm with small people, to be honest with you, it kind of makes me feel smaller. And when I'm with big people, it kind of makes me feel bigger. And I think that the ability and I don't know, maybe the security to bring people around you that are faster, bigger, smarter, more experienced than you, and then ask them to help you, what I found is they help me.
And so, you've helped me tremendously with this writing of have Change Your World with you. Honestly, the book would never be at the level it's on if you wouldn't have jumped in and given me your experience, your stories and your wisdom. Rob's one of the best thinkers, I know. I just loved to have conversation with Rob, because he challenges me and stretches me and I learned from you. So that's why I'm kind of excited. I'm excited about the podcast, because I mean, we've got the Rob and Mark and maybe John shows.
Mark Cole: Well, we do. And guys, here's where the idea of this particular podcast, originated. We're sitting at lunch again, we've adapted today, adjusted, pivoted. And everything all of us have been doing in podcast land all of 2020, we're doing that in Guatemala today. And it was a lunch John that we and some of our incredible partners, that's traveling with us, we're having this lunch, and it was just this brilliant lunch of just up-leveling all of our thinking. And so, we came up with this idea for this podcast. So I'm really want you guys to talk to me. What are you excited about? What are you learning? And John, I'd love to hear from you, just kind of, what are you excited about? What are you learning?
John Maxwell: I'm going to start by a quote that you and I were having lunch with a friend, Amy. And we were at Stewart and she knows Ed Mylett really well. And what she did is she gave us a quote of Ed's that resonated with me. And I put it in my iPhone and it basically says, "You don't have to believe me, but you have to believe that I believe me." And I love this quote. And it reminded me of when I was in my twenties, I was a young pastor. And every year I had to fill out a form of kind of like an accountability form of what have you done this year. And they would ask me questions. And one of the questions they asked me was very high on their list of importance in doctrine of which I didn't really completely agree with.
And so, when they asked me if I taught on that, I said, "Yes," the first year. And I just felt kind of bad about it, because I had mentioned it, but I hadn't given it to the level I knew they wanted. The second year, they asked me if I did it, and I didn't even do it, but I lied, said that I did, and I felt even worse then. And so now, I'm having to deal with an integrity issue in my life. And that really caused me after a year or two to pull away. And I asked myself a question, "What am I going to do as far as sharing, either writing or communicating with people on things I really don't either buy into, or I don't personally experience them in my own life?" And I came to a conclusion that I wasn't going to teach what I didn't believe. I wasn't going to share with others what I hadn't experienced. And when people talk about my communication, whatever skills, gifts, whatever, I go back and I say, that's the day I learned to communicate.
That wasn't the day I learned to communicate the fact that that was the day I became a great communicator, but that was the day that was the turnaround day, because I quit trying to be someone else, I quit trying to copy something else. And I said, "I'm just going to give him the best version of me," whatever that is. And it led me to authenticity, which led me to conviction, which led me eventually to moral authority. And I go back to that. So when we had lunch the other day with Amy and she gave me the Ed Mylett or you too, with that. I wrote it down really quickly. And I thought she just said, or Ed said, just said something that what would this have been? This would have been not quite almost 50 years ago, that just absolutely turned me around as a communicator. And when people talk to me about, I don't know whether it's conviction or anointing or whatever it is, that when I communicate how it comes across real or authentic or whatever it is, I can look at him and say, "It's because it is."
Rob Hoskins: I think for me, John, you're so authentic, because you're so credible. And that credibility comes out of not just what you do, but what you just said, that you're not going to teach anything that you don't believe or that you haven't lived. I mean-
John Maxwell: Don't play the game, don't play the game.
Rob Hoskins: And that's the credibility factor for me. That's so huge. And that's why I think that, especially during hard times, that a lot of people are living through right now, people are looking for credibility. They're looking for something that they can go, "Okay, this individual has lived this, and I believe them." And we're running into these types of catastrophic pressures that are just overwhelming all of us. And what do I run to? I want to run to credible voices. There is too much at stake right now for me to spend my time listening to someone that I don't believe believes with passion what they're saying. Talk is cheap.
John Maxwell: Okay, let me play off it. This is why this is why I get into conversations with Rob Hoskins all the time. He stimulates my mind. And what you just said is so true. The expression I hear a lot about COVID is, "This is unreal, this is unreal. I mean, if you can't believe this has happened, it's not real." And what I say is when you are in an unreal world, you need to get to the real world. And the real world is what I know has happened within my life. And so, when I talk with people and they express fear, which is very legitimate, and I feel badly for people. Not only do I feel the fear, I feel badly for the deaths. I mean, this has been a horrible, horrible thing. But during this unreal world, I have gone back to what I know is real, and that's my faith, but it's also my values and it's also the things I've taught. You know what? It's kind of wonderful when the things that you have taught in a crisis become the things that you rely on.
Kind of a beautiful thing. I think the reverse is true if you've taught it, but it wasn't real and you got in this unreal world and all of a sudden you're upside down. I think that's where so many times, Rob, Mark, that people lose their bearing, they lose their footing and they begin to go into a spin. And so, it's just, that's a quote. And it's just where I am and it just kind of wanted to add value to it.
Mark Cole: Yeah. John and Rob, I'm going to come to you in just a moment, John. I hope you got more right there, because that first nugget was working. Okay, cut off the podcast, we're done. But you know John, go into that point, we were under a certain degree of pressure. If social pressure is pressure to a leader then we were under a little bit of pressure. That's not real pressure in our world, but just make a statement John, make a statement. All the uncertainty and all the just chaos that we had in 2020 make statements, make statements. And you looked at me and you went, "Mark, I've been making a statement in my leadership for 50 years. I value all people." And in moments like this, you've been leading all your life, you've been making statements all your life. And if you're good, crisis, like you said, actually reveals that the statements that you've been making all of your life really show up at that point. Thank you, John. Rob, you play off of that. But also I want to hear what you're excited about.
Rob Hoskins: This is so good, because John and I didn't sit down and prescript this. So I didn't know where he was going. I don't know, he doesn't know what I wanted to talk about. But you would ask me before we started to really talk about what are you learning right now? And this has been a very hard week for me, India, right now, if you're listening to this podcast to this timeframe is just been hit by COVID worse than any country has so far. We don't even know what's going on in India right now. I just know with my team, with my staff in India, this week, one of my leaders has lost his father and has lost his sister. Two days ago, I got a call from another one of my leaders who lost his mom. This is close now. I don't have one of my team members in India who doesn't have a family member that's suffering with COVID without enough respirators and with no... How do you lead people that are in the midst of chaos?
I thought I'd learned that last year with COVID. They're experiencing in India in a whole other way. So I woke up a morning before last and I thought, "Wow, if I'm experiencing this, I wonder how some of my partners and friends..." And I just made a commitment. I'm going to call every one of them. They're in the midst of a nightmare right now. And I want to love on our friends in India. And so, I got through to several of them. Mark, it just broke me. I mean, I talked to one of my friends, who's been my friends for 12 years, has a massive organization, huge organization. He's lost 50 staff this week that have died. It is the perfect storm there right now.
And this is one of the most, I would say probably top 10 lists of resilient leaders I know in the world is this Indian leader. And this were his words to me, "I don't know if I can take it anymore." I never, John in my wildest dreams would have ever imagined that those words would have come out of this individual's mouth. And so, I took a step back from that and I thought, "What does my friend need from me right now?" And the word that came to me was this word, veracity. Now it's not a word we use very much.
John Maxwell: I've never used that word Rob.
Rob Hoskins: I know.
John Maxwell: I know it's a serious moment, but that's why I hang with you. You're so smart. I mean, veracity.
Rob Hoskins: Well, veracity is a conformity to the truth. It's accuracy. It's appropriateness. And for me at that moment it was, what this guy needs from you is what you were just talking about.
John Maxwell: Yes.
Rob Hoskins: He needs what I would call sort of timeless transparency. "What are those things Rob, that you know this morning?" Because what this man needs is truth, he needs veracity that's going to be able to take him through what he's about to go through. And for me, there's no time for platitudes now, there's no time for some quote that I heard-
John Maxwell: At it boy, at it boy.
Rob Hoskins: To make you feel good at this. This is way deeper than that. This guy needs something that he's going to be able to hang on to. And I love this, it's been one of my favorite quotes. And this to me is a quote on veracity about truthfulness in a time of great testing. No surprise that it comes from Winston Churchill, who led during a time of just unbelievable, tumultuousness in the world. This is what he said, "There is no worst mistake in public leadership, then to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away. People can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived." So what Churchill is saying, I need to do for my friend who's just had 50 staff members die right now is, my naturalness just wants to say, "Just tell him something that's going to make him feel good." But feel good platitudes are not going to help him. What he needs is the truth to sustain him over what is going to be a hard journey.
He was going to go to three funerals that day. I mean, so this is what Churchill was talking about. People are going to resent at that moment when I'm leading them for me not to tell them the truth. And so, you have to tell them the truth. So at that point with him, what I wanted to say is, "I've got nothing to give you right now, except here's what I know. Here's what I do know is going to last, here's what I know is going to last." I know that those values that I have lived out with this man over the last 10 years are not going to change. I said, "Just stick with your integrity right now." I said, "I know this is going to be hard for you. I know you say you want to give up right now, I know you don't feel very resilient, but I've always thought..." And then what I did, John is, I started telling him what I knew about who he was as a man.
John Maxwell: Oh, I love this. Come on.
Rob Hoskins: I said, "Here's what I know about you. You said you just wanted to give up." I said, "You're the last man in the world that I would have ever expected those words to come out of your mouth." I just told it to him that particular moment. I said, "I know that's the way you feel right now, but that's not who you are."
John Maxwell: It's not who you are.
Rob Hoskins: "That's not who you are." And I said, "I know that about you." And I just started speaking life into him at that particular moment and said, "Let me tell you who you are." And everything I said to him was absolutely true. I would've said it to him before this catastrophe in his life, but you know what? At that moment, he needs to remember who he is, but it needs to be done from a point of fact. And I started talking about real things to him. So, I just think that the world is, and so here we are in Colombia, I'm sorry, in Guatemala.
Mark Cole: By the way, I love this. He's a world traveler, Rob you're in Guatemala. It is whatever day it is. I don't even know what day it is. And you tell me what day it is and I'll tell you where we are.
Rob Hoskins: Here's why I say Colombia. I was going to say, when I landed here in Guatemala, I've been here many times before, I felt something in the air. John?
John Maxwell: Yes.
Rob Hoskins: When I came here. Yes, COVID restrictions. Yes, everything else. But we're also in the midst of in the region right now, there's a lot of turmoil going on. Colombia is on fire right now, there's riots in the street, because of COVID and the economic situation. And so, you feel this sense of fear that people have. And so, what I love about John is, John just has the ability, the innate ability to sense the temperature of what's going on in people's lives, even in a culture, even in a country right now. And so, John, I saw you do this today. You were speaking to a group of mayors and you sensed what was a spirit of really fear in the room. These mayors don't know what's coming tomorrow. And so, you stepped off of the platform and you came and you sat on the side of the stage and you just started talking to them like a father.
And here's what I loved about what you did, John. You said, "If I was a mayor right now in your situation and you started teaching them, to me, that's veracity. You were teaching out of the truths you've lived in your life, that's credibility," what we talked about. And I could just feel the moment you did that. The mayors in this country here in Guatemala, it was almost like you felt this collective, just this sense of, "Wow," here's a man who's not speaking to me as a leadership expert. He's speaking to me like a father and he's speaking truths into me that are going to help me to go back to my city tomorrow and begin to lead with that level of certainty. And that's what I think this world is really crying out for at a time of catastrophes.
Mark Cole: Well, it's what I've watched both of you guys do. You don't talk to people or at people, you talk with people. And I'm with you Rob, when John, when you did that and you just sit down with those mayors, it's almost like, okay, let's all gather around. John you never been a mayor. Well, I think you're probably a mayor of everything you step into, but that's another subject. But you related with them by just sitting down, coming down close to them and just saying, "Hey, this is what I would do." Hey, I think we've got time for it. Well, do you want to say something on that?
John Maxwell: Well, I do, because it just hit me Mark, what both you and Robert said, because there are a lot of you that are listening to this podcast that you are teachers, speakers, communicators. And so, there's just something, just a small insight. So big deal, a small insight, but it'll help, maybe it'll help here. The reason that happened that way is that when I walked out, I mean, I could see in their faces that the difficulty they're going through. They were sad faces. Okay, here's what I want you to catch as a communicator. I care more about the mayors, the people I'm talking to, than I care about my subject.
Rob Hoskins: Let's not miss that one.
John Maxwell: So all of a sudden, my first response to them wasn't, "Be brilliant as a leadership expert," my first thought was, "Be a friend to them." It's kind of like, one time I had a friend and he was going through a very difficult time and I said, "I honestly have to say, I don't know what you're going through, but could I come over and go through it with you?" And with those mayors today, I just said, "What would I do if I was a mayor in Guatemala?"
Rob Hoskins: Oh boy. John. I mean, that just hits me. I mean, what you just said was for me, you can't start influencing people from your starting point, but you have to start from where they at every time.
John Maxwell: You have to find them to lead them. You don't start leading people, you find people. And when you find them, then you ask questions and you make sure you know who they are and where they are, and then you lead them. But the leadership is never first. And today, they didn't need a leadership expert to come there. Now, by the way, when I sat down and I shared with them what I'd do if I was a mayor, I gave them all kinds of leadership principles.
Rob Hoskins: Absolutely.
John Maxwell: I mean, it wasn't that I gave them nothing. But what I gave them first was care, first. And the delivery that's secondary. And once I established that I truly cared for them, now they're so receptive to the teaching, they're so receptive, but I think so many times we go and say, I've heard you say, "Well, I have a message for them." And the first thing I want to say is, do you think they need that message? How well do you know them? Would you want to find out what they think, the messages that they need to hear? And I just think that as communicators. I was getting ready to speak to 5,000 people, Northeast, Ohio a couple of years ago. And I was in the green room and a fellow who had spoken before me, it was at a conference, came in and he said, "What are you thinking right now?" It was only about three minutes before. And I said, "Well, I'm thinking about the people." He says, "You're not thinking about your subject." I said, "Oh, no, no, no." I said, "I know my subject, but I'm thinking about the people."
You see, they're not interested in what I know until they know that I've put them first. When people know that you put them first, they are always receptive for anything you have for them. And I think that's just, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to go off on that, but when you said that, I just thought-
Rob Hoskins: This is cool, John.
John Maxwell: I just thought my first response, when I saw the mayors was I think I didn't take my iPad out, down with me, get down close to them, let them know you love them.
Rob Hoskins: Yeah. I noticed you left your notes back on the bathroom floor.
John Maxwell: And let him know you love him and then just start from where they are. And the whole thing is, "If I was a mayor in Guatemala..." Immediately, I'm not talking to them, I'm sitting beside them and community.
Rob Hoskins: It made all the difference in the world [crosstalk 00:28:16].
Mark Cole: So then guys, we're we're out of time.
John Maxwell: Come on.
Mark Cole: I mean, I know I'm the bad guy here.
John Maxwell: We have a sissy podcast here.
Mark Cole: But I'm going to tell you, I'm going to tell you something here.
Rob Hoskins: Mark just took the mic away.
Mark Cole: It's your podcast. If you want to call it sissy, that is your prerogative.
Rob Hoskins: I'm going to do a live blow by blow if people can't see what's going on. Mark Cole just stole the mic from John Maxwell.
John Maxwell: And he didn't give it back to him. I'm yelling from across the room right now.
Mark Cole: I have completely lost control of our podcast. Hey guys, I really am going to put you on the spot on the air. Can we make this part one? And can we come back next week and make it part two?
John Maxwell: Well, I can.
Mark Cole: Rob?
John Maxwell: Now, Rob may be in some other distant land.
Mark Cole: Some other country, Colombia. We'll meet you in Colombia.
Rob Hoskins: It would be fun to do it again.
Mark Cole: Let's do it again. Let's do it again. So, here's the deal. Here's the deal. Come back next week and you won't hate me so bad for cutting this podcast short.
John Maxwell: And if you do two parts, it's not a sissy one. It's a sustained one. We went from sissy to sustained.
Mark Cole: Okay. So that's what we're going to do. You have been listening to the John Maxwell leadership podcast. It is unprecedented times requiring unprecedented podcast. And Rob, I cannot thank you enough for being here today. Again, with such an honor, to partner with you, how do they go to OneHope just to see more about what you're doing.
Rob Hoskins: OneHope.net.
Mark Cole: OneHope.net. It's an organization that is committed to helping children. It's an organization that is committed to faith-oriented material. You want to go and you want to see what Rob is up to. And my promise to you, come back next week, same time, same place and we will get you another lesson. It will have what you're excited about and what you're learning from John Maxwell and Rob Hoskins.
John Maxwell: And to all of you, if you're a person of faith, pray for India.
Rob Hoskins: Oh please.
John Maxwell: What you said earlier, Rob, just touched my heart there.
Rob Hoskins: And all of us are meant to be praying for India right now.
John Maxwell: Let's just pray for India. So anyway, love and blessings and hey, we'll do part two.
Rob Hoskins: Here we go.
John Maxwell: Next week.
Mark Cole: So again, do us a favor. If you've enjoyed this podcast, pass it along, make sure you subscribe, download each and every week. If you subscribe, we'll send you an email. We will get the information to you. And as always live up to John's purpose, "If you've been added value to, look for a way to go multiply that value to others," send this podcast off to someone else, please on whatever podcast player you listen in, make a comment, let Rob, John know how good they did. Invite them back next week. We'll have them with us. And until next week, go listen, go learn, let's lead and change the world together.