In this episode of the High Velocity Radio, Stone Payton interviews Archie L. Jones Jr., founder and CEO of NxGen COACH Network. Archie discusses the mission of his organization, his personal journey into coaching, and the joy he finds in helping others achieve their dreams. He talks about the early stages of coaching relationships, the influence of mentors, and his podcast “Training Camp for Leaders.” Archie also promotes his upcoming book, “The Treasure You Seek: A Guide to Developing and Leveraging Your Leadership Capital,” and the development of workshops and online resources to accompany it.
Archie L. Jones, Jr. is an accomplished investor, author, advisor, and educator. As the founder and CEO of NxGen COACH Network™, he draws from his own leadership journey to empower and coach the next generation of global leaders through speaking engagements, workshops, his podcast, and forthcoming book, The Treasure You Seek: A Guide to Developing and Leveraging Your Leadership Capital. In this book, available for pre-order now, Archie shares deeper insights and expertise in leadership capital to guide aspiring and seasoned leaders achieve their dreams.
An award-winning Harvard Business School professor, Archie develops and delivers innovative curriculum focused on entrepreneurial leadership. For three decades, he has led successful private equity investments and value creation in public and private companies, including Merrill Lynch, Parthenon Capital, Kenexa, IBM and NOW Corporation.
With his focus on strategy, private equity and corporate M&A transactions, Archie led investments across a variety of industries and sectors in the US, Asia and Europe. He is an operating partner and senior advisor for Six Pillars Partners.
Archie was named one of Savoy Magazine’s “Most Influential Black Corporate Directors,” is a member of The Executive Leadership Council, contributes to Impact Entrepreneur Magazine, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Fleetcor Technologies, Inc.
His social impact work with organizations such as Year Up, Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs and New Profit drive innovation and systemic change. Archie is also a faculty co-sponsor of Harvard Business School’s Black Investment Club, faculty advisor to the school’s Social Enterprise Initiative, and is the faculty lead of the Upswell Forum. Additionally, he serves as Board Chairman of Project Evident and is a board member of the Mickey Leland Kibbutzim Foundation and the Elev8 Foundation.
In 2023, Archie and NxGen Coach Network™ launched the Training Camp for Leaders with Archie L. Jones, Jr podcast. Now a top-ranked podcast, the show features a range of topics from entrepreneurship to pursuing board service and offers an additional way for Archie to reach aspiring and seasoned leaders with insights from his own learnings as well as from other accomplished executives. Guests include Lynn Martin, President of the New York Stock Exchange, Chuck Gray, US CEO and Board Practice Leader of Egon Zhender, Mr. Wonderful aka Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank, and others.
Archie is a NACD Certified Director, Certified Public Accountant, graduate of Morehouse College and Harvard Business School and has 3 sons.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- About Archie’s book The Treasure You Seek: A Guide to Developing and Leveraging Your Leadership Capital
- About NxGen COACH Network Training Camp for Leaders podcast
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: [00:00:14] Welcome to the High Velocity Radio show, where we celebrate top performers producing better results in the last time. Stone Payton here with you this afternoon. You guys are in for a real treat. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast founder and CEO with NxGen COACH Network, Archie L. Jones, Jr. Good afternoon sir.
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:00:38] Stone, how you doing today?
Stone Payton: [00:00:39] I am doing so well. Really been looking forward to this conversation. Got a thousand questions. Archie, I know we’re not going to get to them all, but I think maybe a great place to start would be if you could paint for for me and our listening audience. Mission. Purpose. What are you and your team really out there trying to do for folks? Man.
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:01:00] You know, I love the question. I’m excited to be on the show. I think they, you know, I try to keep things simple. Stone. And so the name of the organization that you called out tells you exactly what we’re doing. So NxGen COACH Network, we’re all about training and developing the next generation of leaders. So that’s what the the next gen is for coach, uh, as both a verb and a noun. On the verb side, it’s coaching, training and developing, as I said, but it’s also an acronym coach. Create opportunity and Cultivate humanity is what our mission is. That’s what we’re all about. And then that last part of the name, the third leg of the name network, uh, refers to one of my favorite sayings is the answer’s in your network around establishing value, creating relationships. And so we’re all about working with other folks to try and maximize that impact.
Stone Payton: [00:01:53] Man, it sounds like a very noble pursuit. Must be incredibly rewarding work if you can get it. But, but, but I gotta know, man. What’s the backstory? How did you get into this?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:02:06] You know, it was probably about five years ago, stone that I had spent some time actually doing leadership Atlanta, uh, here in Atlanta and had the time to do some self-reflection as a part of that leadership training and development. And it asked a very simple question. And one of the sessions around, when are you happiest and most effective? And as I thought about it and shared some answers, and they actually even surveyed some folks that I had worked with before and people that had been a part of my life. And the answer that that came resoundingly back was it was when I was coaching or teaching. And even though that had never been my job title, I spent my early career and most of my career as an investor, private equity investor, investing in companies and advising leaders on on growing their businesses and organizations. But when I thought about it, it was in those moments of coaching when I had, you know, either, um, you know, hours to spend with CEOs kind of in the early mornings, late nights and weekends, whether it was coaching my sons and little league. But those were the times when I was happiest and most effective, and then just helping friends and, and other leaders just kind of broadly. And it sparked a question of, well, if that’s the case, how do you do more of that was the takeaway was if that’s when you’re happiest and most effective, usually only doing that for a small percentage of your time, how can you do it even more? And it was at that point that I thought about board service as a way of coaching, uh, teaching as a way of coaching, and then getting a little more formal and organized on my on my way of, uh, coaching leaders. And that’s when I formed the Next Gen Coach network.
Stone Payton: [00:03:44] Well, now that you’ve been at it a while, what are you enjoying the most, man? What’s what’s the most fun about it for you?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:03:52] You know the most fun about it and it ties back to the coaching. Is is watching others actually being able to go chase their dreams? Right. So many times we spend time making the list of here’s all the reasons why it won’t work, or now’s not the right time to get started. Or I don’t have everything that I need or I’m going to spend a little bit, I need another credential. Um, and so working directly with leaders, not on my dream or having them follow my vision, but spending the time to uncover what is it that they’re excited about, whether it’s trying to get into a board seat or trying to start their own business, or start a social enterprise, trying to do some social good, it’s it’s that’s the part that I love the most is helping them at least create a path and start on that journey to realizing their dream.
Stone Payton: [00:04:40] All right. So let’s talk a little bit about about the work I’m particularly interested in, sort of like the front end of, I guess you’d call it the the engagement cycle or like what are some of the, the early activities in a coaching relationship, a coaching process with you and your outfit?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:04:59] You know, the earliest part is, is trying to get that sense of two things. One is, what’s the big idea? I call it, uh, I call it an I didn’t, I didn’t, uh, create it. I think, uh, it was done by Jim Collins. And in his book, Dare to Be Great or good to great, I should say, um, around the beehag, the big hairy audacious goal. Um, and we talked he talked about that from a company standpoint, but I think we all personally ought to have a beehag. And so I start with what is the big hairy, audacious goal, that thing that you dream about? Uh, and probably and in most cases, never, never even say it out loud and never talked about out loud. Uh, but it’s that thing that if you had the, uh, in some cases, you think if you had the resources or the time or if conditions were different, that or if those things weren’t a concern that you’d go after. And that’s where I like to start, is what is that thing? And then typically what you find on the other side of that thing is, well, what’s the fear? What’s the thing that’s holding you back from going there? And there’s a there’s a great quote that, uh, that I love that says the cave you’re afraid to enter holds the treasure you seek. And so those two things are connected in that way. And so it starts really there of what’s the big hairy, audacious goal, that thing that really excites you, that you, your heart really wants to go after, and then what’s holding you back? And then that’s the place where I like to start, because that usually starts to unveil. Here’s what the journey needs to look like to build up the confidence to start making your way towards that goal or that beehag.
Stone Payton: [00:06:35] It sounds like so much of your work is grounded in life experience. You’ve been on this path yourself and it’s not like you’ve completed it. You continue to be on that on that journey. Right? But but I am curious to know, particularly as you made the transition to becoming a full time practitioner in this regard. Did you have the benefit of of one or more mentors along the way to kind of help you navigate this, this new terrain?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:07:06] Without a doubt, without a doubt, plenty of mentors and and I’ll tell you, it’s it’s when you’ve got a portfolio career, as I call it, like I have, you know, where I sit on some boards, I’m in the so I’m in the boardroom. So I sit on the board of some private company and public company boards as well as some nonprofit boards. So I’ve got mentors, um, some of whom have been on my podcast, uh, and have helped me think about that board journey. So I’ve got a board level set of advisors around kind of that governance and board journey. I had a lot of great examples through through my school days. Um, one in particular, who I just actually, um, received an award in his name, doctor James Cash from the Harvard Business School was a great mentor and a great representative of excellence, um, that I still call on today as I think about things around the classroom and related and even broader entrepreneurship. And then I’ve had the fortune to work with a number of CEOs across the year and so across the years. And so working with leaders both in the social sector as well as the for profit sector, uh, some of those folks who our relationship started out and I was coaching them as things often happen, you also, uh, you can learn a lot from those folks as well. So it becomes mutually beneficial.
Stone Payton: [00:08:21] Isn’t that the truth? All right. You very briefly mentioned it, and then you just went right by it. But I got to stop you. You have your own radio show. Talk about that a little bit.
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:08:33] I do, I do I started, uh, I started a podcast, um, a little less than a year ago. Uh, it’s called Training Camp for leaders. Again, playing off of that coach theme, because that’s what I am, and that’s what we do and what we’re really trying to do with that. And most of my efforts and, uh, I’ll. Another one. Actually, I’ve got a book coming out, so I touched on that one in a little bit. But the podcast was designed to get, uh, a broader reach. If you think about, you know, the work in the boardroom and the classroom, while impactful, for sure, I can only get to the students and the leaders that get into the room with me. And so the question started to become, or at least the question I was wrestling with was, how do I get to a broader audience? Those folks who who I may not have the opportunity to sit in a room with or have office hours with, or coffee chats or the like. And so starting to think about mediums for, uh, being able to get these same leadership lessons, these same leadership insights out to a broader audience and, and also to make sure that they’re not just hearing my story, but to hear the stories of some other wonderful leaders. And so I’ve had corporate executives on, um, senior officials as a part, a part of great nonprofit organizations. Uh, we were fortunate enough to have Kevin O’Leary Mr. Wonderful, on, uh, not that long ago. And so we’ve had some great guests who’ve talked about topics from board leadership to entrepreneurship to one of my favorites is entrepreneurship. So leading from inside of an organization and creating innovation that way. And so not only me telling my story and sharing some of the some of my leadership philosophies, but hearing that from a broad range of other what I like to think of as uncommon leaders in many ways, some folks who, um, are not, didn’t come from the backgrounds and aren’t the kind of folks that you think of ordinarily as being leaders, but have done some powerful things and got some powerful messages for us.
Stone Payton: [00:10:28] And as I’m sure you’ve discovered, and I’ve been at this a while, too, and have just found so much pleasure in in utilizing this platform to support and celebrate other people who are doing great work. You learn a ton. And uh, man, I’ve made lifelong friendships just from exchanges like this and it sounds like you have too.
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:10:52] That’s exactly right. It’s, um, you. I’m thinking I think about it as a teaching tool, but you’re exactly right. It’s as much of a learning tool. And to my and to your other point on continuing to broaden connections and relationships, it starts to actually feed on itself, where folks who’ve been on talk about the same question that you asked me of some mentors and the like, those names come up and before you know it, I’ve got my having conversations with them and some of them even on the show as well. And so it just starts to feed on itself. Where, where, where leaders who are inspiring have often been inspired by other leaders. And you continue to grow kind of your library and your network that way. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:11:34] All right. Tell us about this book. You’ve just released it or you’re about to release this this new book. Right?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:11:40] I am about to release this book. Uh, it is it is due out on March 12th. It’ll officially be out there. It’s out there for preorder now. For those who want to know, the title of the book is The Treasure You Seek a Guide to developing and Leveraging your leadership, capital and and and stone. It takes you through a bit of my story, my leadership journey, but also is an amalgamation of the leaders I’ve been working with over the years, and I help them through their journey and help them work through and get to what I talked about earlier, their big hairy audacious goal. And I think it sets up a, a pretty good, pretty good, um, training guide and development guide and a playbook, if you will, for other folks to go, you know, go, uh, find their treasure.
Stone Payton: [00:12:26] So as you were putting this thing together, did you find that some sections, some chapters came together for you a lot easier than others? What what was that? Say a little bit about the process of, you know, taking what was going on in your head and committing it to paper.
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:12:45] It did find. I did find some sections, um, easier than others. I think there’s, there’s, it’s it’s broadly around the five keys of, of leadership capital. Those five keys are capability. So finding your superpower is how I think about that one. And really leaning into that thing that’s special and differentiated about you. The second uh, c is is culture. That one is, is probably where the biggest surprise came from, because I say I had when I first started on the journey and started sharing it in this format, I had four C’s and culture wasn’t in there. It was capability, communication, connection and confidence. And it was while I was sharing that with a group of leaders, uh, one of the folks in the audience who spends her time on a lot on cultural awareness and and cultural development and cultural discovery, said that, you know, we got a C missing here. And I’ll tell you, that journey of going through that culture, C that C of going back into your history, both your long history of your heritage, but also your short heritage, your short history of the household you grew up in and the challenges and the opportunities you had as a young adult and all the way through your adult life and leveraging that, not leaving that behind, but finding those cultural assets that you can bring forward to the table that, um, that culture chapter, that culture section was a new and different one and sent me on a, uh, an internal research journey as well as an external.
Stone Payton: [00:14:19] Did you find or are you finding that having invested the time and energy and resources to do that, commit all this to paper, put it out there? Certainly, yes, in an effort to serve others. But did you also find that it helped you kind of crystallize your your own thinking and equip you to even be that much more effective in communicating your ideas and other in other media, like when you’re speaking or what have you?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:14:45] It it did, it did. Because I’ll tell you what it what it did for me is it took it took those high level concepts again from capability knowing your superpower, um, culture, you know, uh, leaning into who you are, communication, telling your story and then connection, leveraging relationships. And then lastly confidence. Right. Starting to put that into action in a confident in a in a really confident way. I think the thing that the book really helped me with is I didn’t want it to be as I realized as I started writing, I didn’t want it to be something you read once and then said, okay, that’s a good idea, but then be left with the question of, well, what do I do about that? I like the idea. I like the concept. I want to get better across those five keys. The big question is now the how, where do I get started? And so what that had me do was actually and it’s in the book, there’s some exercises in there to help you start to realize what your superpower is, to help you think about how you tell yourself a different story about your history and your heritage, to help you communicate, uh, more effectively and grow your network. And so in each of the chapters for each of those sections, there’s some real helpful practical guides to a understand where you are and to be start to chart a path towards, uh, moving that needle up into the right so you can be as a, as an effective a leader as you’re hoping to be, and move towards that big hairy, audacious goal.
Stone Payton: [00:16:11] Well, as you’re describing the structure of the book, it strikes me as, yes, marvelous personal growth development tool for me as an individual. But I also, within the Business RadioX network, have a managing partner role. So in some respects, I am largely responsible for trying to generate results with and through the voluntary cooperation effort of other people. But this, this, this work that you’ve done strikes me as also maybe a marvelous, um, tool to use as a group where maybe we all go read it or read pieces of it, and then come back and talk about that and really apply everything to the, you know, to our little world here at the Business RadioX network is a is that that’s a way to apply this this tool, isn’t it?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:16:59] I think that’s a great way to apply it. And what we’re already to start to develop at the Next Gen Coach Network is a series of workshops. And you’re right, you could read the book and guide yourself, almost. Go on a self-guided tour, if you will. And we’re developing as a part of the network, uh, some, some workshop opportunities for those that want to have have us engage in helping you through that. And some single day or multi-day sessions, uh, will ultimately have an online offering to help with some of that, some of the assessments around it. Uh, you can take online, uh, at our website, RTL Jones junior com will get you to all of my websites, including the next gen coach one. But but there you can start on that journey. But yes, I think that’s exactly right. You know what is what is good for the individual as they make. Your journey, you realize that, you know, while you’re developing yourself as as you said, as an individual leader, uh, you also need to think about how your style and your culture is going to mesh with other folks and how you use that diversity of backgrounds and experiences and, and values to make sure that the one plus one, uh, actually equals three when you start putting things together and you get that multiplier effect.
Stone Payton: [00:18:09] Well, with your permission, I’m going to switch gears on you a little bit. I, uh, I don’t know when you’d find the time, but I am interested to know what passions, pursuits, hobbies, interests you have, if any, outside the scope of your work. Like a lot of my listeners know that that I like to hunt, fish and travel. You know, that’s kind of. But. But how about you?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:18:31] Oh, you know, it’s, um, you hit on biggies there. I, I like to hunt, fish and travel as well. Um, I fishing, I, I love to fly fish actually. So actually, on the back cover of the book, you’ll see, uh, because I know you’re going to order yours, you’ll see on the back cover there, me with a fly rod in my mouth and a and a bonefish in my hand. So I enjoy I enjoy fly fishing because it actually combines two of the things that you talked about there. Um, traveling because usually you’re going to some nice places. We like to say trout and these other fish usually don’t live in ugly places. And so you find yourself in some beautiful scenic areas while you’re out there, uh, trying to catch a fish. Um, and so I love, I love fishing, uh, again, I’ve got three sons, and so I any excuse to get us outdoors. So fishing is a passion bird. Hunting is a passion of ours as well. Um, and so. And I also like to play a little bit of golf. I’m not great. I consider myself a bogey golfer. So that’s, uh, that’s about as good as it’s going to get. I actually recently got a hat that says bogey on it, but that’s about, uh, that’s about as good as my golf game’s going to get. But any excuse to get outside and kind of get away from, you know, some technology for a moment and the hustle and bustle and get back to simpler things. That’s how I think about that. Time is getting back to simpler times. Uh, and that one on one actually communicating face to face and talking to each other, those are the those are the things that I really like to do.
Stone Payton: [00:20:02] Well, I am so glad that I asked and I, I, I’m sure this is your experience as well, but I find when I do break off and invest the the time to, to go to the woods or to to hit the, the beach or the, the lake that, that, uh, that white space, I guess you’d call it. To me, it’s an important component of being effective in my business. I do you find that too? That that really you come back rejuvenated and recharged and ready to attack the next set of challenges?
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:20:31] That’s exactly right. I think it lets your I think it lets your mind, uh, settle a bit, rest a bit, and you actually come back from those, those experiences, or at least I do. And it sounds like you do as well, actually. Ready to be more creative? Uh, I think stepping away from it, um, often gives you some time and opportunity, even if you aren’t to your point, directly thinking about it, I think your subconscious continues to kind of work on it. And some of those ideas that may be deeper, deeper back in the library of your mind or your memory, uh, start to percolate their way forward with a little bit of time. And if you don’t, you know, you don’t work on it at at work on it as hard. There’s a book that I love, um, that talks about the seven, uh, laws of seven spiritual laws of success, and one of them is the law of least effort that says that actually, when you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t actually have to work on some of these things as as hard as we think we do. Um, that you can actually kind of get into the the zone, if you will, by not working on it as hard and creating some space for creativity and outside ideas to to work their way in.
Stone Payton: [00:21:37] Well, I got to tell you, the next time we do this, we may be broadcasting live stream side. Uh, so we have some, some common interest. Uh, but for now, as we wrap, I want to make sure that our listeners have some coordinates to get their hands on this book. And if they’d like to reach out and have a more substantive conversation with you or someone on your team, let’s, uh, let’s leave them with an easy way to do that.
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:22:01] The easiest way to get to me is Archie Archie L Jones Jr. Com all one word that’ll get you to a website. That’s the same thing that my social media is on. So Archie L Jones jr.com will get you the book. It’ll get you the next gen coach. It’ll get you to our podcast and training camps. And so that’s a great one stop shop spot to get to every way to get connected to all of our efforts and activities.
Stone Payton: [00:22:31] Well, Archie, it has been an absolute delight having you on the show this afternoon. I’m quite sincere, actually. I do want to circle back and kind of continue to follow this this story, but keep up the good work, man. What you’re doing is really important and we we sure appreciate you.
Archie L. Jones, Jr.: [00:22:51] Stoneman. It’s been great getting to spend a little bit of time. I’m looking forward to spending more and sounds like we may have, uh, we may have gotten a couple fishing buddies together. And so that’s always a good that’s always a good thing.
Stone Payton: [00:23:04] Absolutely. My pleasure. All right, until next time. This is Stone Payton for our guest today, RCL Jones Jr, founder and CEO with Next Gen Coach Network and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.