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29. From an $80 mil failure, to now training the greatest TedX speakers in the world.


John Bates is a communications and leadership trainer. He has worked with organizations like Johnson & Johnson, Innovation Labs and Second Genome, as well as prepared hundreds of individuals for TEDx and TED Talks around the globe.

Passion Play:

John believes there are two extremes in the world of passion. One of these passions is to continue to strive to do well, even when you are succeeding. No matter where you’re at in your business or in life, passion is what will keep you coming back and trying harder each day.

Fail Forward:

On October 20, 2000, John experienced the worst day of his life to date. In this failure, he learned what type of context he wanted to live his life in. He was then able to set the context for his own life and has been living his life by this question each and every day since.

Lightbulb Moment:

If you’re got a great idea but can’t communicate it, that idea will just stay in your head. John learned that when you take the focus off of you and learn to empower others, everything shifts; you are able to properly communicate your message.

Success Hack:

Your presentation is not a presentation, it is a performance. You have to remember that when you’re up in front of people, you need to leave a lasting impression, not just present your message.

Randomness Round:

Scott asks Bates, "When your life is near the end, what do you want your legacy to be?" Bates answers that he would like for some of the ideas he has been able to articulate be tools that people can use to make a difference.

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