xMonks Drive Podcast

Twisted Business for High-minded Leaders

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Ever come across a guitarist turned motivational speaker who wrote a book with a leadership expert on business? This is an episode dedicated to redemption and transformation with Jay Jay French of Twisted Sisters and Steve Farber.

Here is an edited manuscript that followed.

Jay Jay Introducing Steve Farber: The Perfect Mesh

Gaurav: Jay Jay, you to start with if you were to introduce Steve, to our audience, how would you do that honors?

Jay Jay: Well, Steve Farber is an extraordinary public speaker and an accomplished author in business. He is one of the most straightforward human beings I’ve ever met. And one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He enabled me to kind of get into a world that I was not part of, which is the speaking world, the book world, the business world. I’m in a band, that automatically assumes that I don’t know that we’re just kind of like, dumb blondes, or something like drug addict, alcoholics, whatever. And that’s that kind of is the way it goes with me.

And Steve is the complete antithesis of this complete, except he’s a musician, as well. So because Steve is such a good musician, but he’s primarily an author and a speaker, and I, primarily a musician, and occasionally an author and a speaker, it kind of it’s almost like a great mesh, because we are both very familiar with the others, attributes, and abilities. But what we’ve done is kind of like mesh them. So while Steve has yet to become a member of Twisted Sister, I have joined his end of the world and his end of the world is a great end of the world. And what he represents in that world, to me, is his excellence in every respect. So I am thrilled to be associated with Steve, because of who he is, what he represents and his reputation. The way he carries it with all these things really reflects the way I like to see things in business. For example, I can’t really be much more complimentary, because he has only paid me a certain amount of money to say these really great things about him for a certain period of time. But all kidding aside, I couldn’t think of a better one. I couldn’t think of a better partner in this project. This project was a tough project to do. And Steve stepped up and did a great job.

Jay Jay French Presented by Steve Farber

Gaurav: Steve, what do you think, JJ?

Steve Farber: Jay Jay French, is the founder, guitarist, manager of and shepherd of the band, the iconic rock band Twisted Sister. And that’s how the world knows him. I know him. The way that I already know him is all it is: a phenomenal, wise man. But just an incredible acumen for business and in the awareness of how the world works. I have rarely seen anybody who can experience his own life and extract meaning from it in the way that JJ does, to be able to look back at an incredible experience that he’s had throughout his lifetime.

Very unusual, you know, when compared to most human beings, represents a very high level of awareness and also a real generous spirit, that he just desires to share that with people. And he does that through story. He’s the most, one of the most, if not the most gifted, natural storytellers I’ve ever met. And that was clear to me literally from the first minute that we met, you know, all those years ago. So it’s this book project, you know, writing Twisted Business together, has been an opportunity for me to not only get to know JJ better, but through the process of writing, to help capture his voice and his experience and share it with the rest of the world through the book. So I’m really grateful and thrilled to be on this ride. Together with JJ, of getting, you know, in getting the book out to the world, we get a chance to tell him to tell our story, which is really a phenomenal experience to have with anybody, let alone JJ.


How did John become Jay Jay French?

Gaurav: Just curious, if I were to talk to that child, or 15 year old John, what was that little John chasing? What was he moving away from that led him to get into music?

John: Well, what I was chasing was a deep insecurity. really deep insecurity. I thought I was ugly, stupid, and I had no relevance. Nobody cared. That’s kind of maybe you peel back enough layers in most people, and they’ll say, I was always insecure. Nobody liked me. Yeah, this comes up a lot. When you hear people talk about their lives, I was no different. I was not the popular person. I was not the good looking person to me, I was not, you know. And so my initial drive was to become the good looking popular person. So I became an Uber hippie drug dealer, which made me extremely popular very, very quickly. I mean, you know, the irony of it is as if it was destroying lives, you know, I was like, oh, wow, people like me, they’re inviting me to parties, because I have all this stuff. But it was a deep insecurity and, and I grew up in an era in New York City with a lot of great musicians and I would hang out in Central Park and there are these guitar players that were amazing. And they always try to say show me this show me that show me that and they’re always better than me. I don’t think I was anywhere near the most talented guitar player in the group that I grew up with. And I don’t mean Twisted Sister. I just mean as a teenager, if I look back at the musicians I jammed with, I thought I was probably the least talented of all of them, but probably now I can say I had the most ambition.

The Origin of Extreme Leadership: Steve Farber

Steve says “Love is the foundation of Leadership” and what more does Extreme Leadership entail, catch more on the xMonks Drive Podcast.

About The Speakers: Steve Farber and John ‘Jay Jay’ French

About Jay Jay French

John “”Jay Jay”” French is a Keynote and Motivational Speaker, Reinvention Expert, Entrepreneur and Founding member of the renowned heavy metal band Twisted Sister. He has a unique perspective on business leadership based on my 40+ years of experience with Twisted Sister (as Manager, Guitarist and Director of Licensing, Publishing & Touring), as well as being a producer/executive producer/manager of rock bands. I’m also the founder of The Pink Burst Project, a nonprofit.

He is a natural storyteller and loves energizing and inspiring audiences through extraordinary tales of success, failure and reinvention through the lens of rock and roll.

He talks about the importance of vision, business transformation, hiring the right people, how to manage challenges, being an authentic leader and developing successful business practices. Everything is based on real-life experiences and he speaks very honestly and openly, with a good dose of humor.

His personal story – especially the story of Twisted Sister – is not just about the music, it’s really about business, and the business just happens to be rock and roll. Twisted Sister played 9,000 shows in 34 countries to crowds of up to 100,000+ and has sold more than 20 million albums. He has developed and led this global brand to maximize revenue, and with the worldwide smash songs “”We’re Not Gonna Take It”” & “”I Wanna Rock””, he has built one of the most successful Heavy Metal music licensing businesses.

He has been writing the business column The French Connection for Inc.com since 2014 and the column “”Now We’re 64″” (about the Beatles) in Goldmine, The Music Collectors Magazine. I also write a column called Twisted Systems for the high-end audio online music magazine Copper.

About Steve Farber

Listed as one of Inc’s global Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts, Steve Farber is a Leadership Pioneer, Strategist, Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author on Extreme Leadership. His expertise is in creating organizational cultures where leadership is not just an opportunity and obligation for those in authority, but for everyone at all levels.

Steve is the President of Extreme Leadership, Inc, and the founder and chairman of The Extreme Leadership Institute, organizations devoted to the cultivation and development of Extreme Leaders around the world. His accessible, deeply inspirational, and eminently practical Radical LEAP framework is widely used across the business, non-profit and education spectrum. Farber has been credited with redefining leadership in deeply personal yet practical terms and re-energizing thousands of people to make a significant difference in their businesses, lives, and the world around them.

His third book, Greater Than Yourself, was a Wall Street Journal® and USA Today® bestseller. His second book, The Radical Edge, was hailed as “a playbook for harnessing the power of the human spirit.” And his first book, The Radical Leap, is already considered a classic in the leadership field. It received Fast Company magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award and was recently named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

His much-anticipated new book, Love Is Just Damn Good Business, published by McGraw-Hill, is available now. It’s been featured on Wharton radio and The World Economic Forum website and has been listed by Book Authority as one of the top business strategy books of 2019. Steve has worked with Merck, Cisco, Intel, TriNet, Hyatt and hundreds of other organizations large and small. He has spoken to or worked with virtually every industry there is–from the tech sector to financial services, manufacturing, health care, hospitality, entertainment, public education, retail, and government.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Steve Farber?

Steve Farber is a dynamic public speaker and skilled business author. He is one of the most straightforward people. Steve is a fantastic musician, but he is mostly a speaker and author. Steve Farber is a Leadership Pioneer, Strategist, Keynote Speaker, and Bestselling Author on Extreme Leadership.

Who is Jay Jay French?

The legendary rock band Twisted Sister is led by Jay Jay French, who is the band’s creator, guitarist, manager, and shepherd. And that is how the rest of the world perceives him: as a fantastic, intelligent man. But just a phenomenal business sense and understanding of how the world works. He’s one of the best, if not the best, natural storytellers around.

What is Jay Jay’s connection with the Twisted Sisters?

John “Jay Jay” French is a known heavy metal band Twisted Sister’s founding member, a keynote and motivational speaker, a reinvention expert, and an entrepreneur. Based on my 40+ years of experience with Twisted Sister (as Manager, Guitarist, and Director of Licensing, Publishing, and Touring), as well as being a producer/executive producer/manager of rock bands, he has a unique perspective on business leadership.

Who is the founder of the Extreme Leadership Institute?

Steve Farber is the founder and chairman of The Extreme Leadership Institute, a global organisation dedicated to the development and cultivation of Extreme Leaders. His Radical LEAP paradigm is extensively used in business, non-profits, and education. It is accessible, highly inspirational, and eminently practical.

What are the important aspects according to Jay Jay French?

Jay Jay discusses vision, company transformation, recruiting the right people, dealing with problems, being a real leader, and building successful business processes. According to him, these are some of the important aspects.

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