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Jon Chu

Lead with Love


Being an effective leader is difficult.

Some do it through fear.

Some do it through understanding.

And others lead with love.

You could be super demanding and scary and get what you want. But is that the kind of life you want to lead?

Probably not.

Often, leading in a way where you understand other people’s concerns will be the most beneficial to you.

There’s a lot you can learn from others.

Ask yourself: how can you bring people together in a way that satisfies their needs as well as your own?

For this 5-Minute Friday, I revisited a conversation I had with the legendary director Jon Chu where he shared how he communicates his vision on set.

Jon Chu directed the films Crazy Rich Asians, Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D,  and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Jon graduated from the USC School of Cinema-Television where he won the Princess Grace Award, the Dore Schary Award presented by the Anti-Defamation League, the Jack Nicholson directing award, and was recognized as an honoree for the IFP/West program Project: Involve.

Learn how to enlist others in your vision and lead with love on Episode 805.

“The most important thing I’ve learned about getting a unified vision is to communicate one-by-one.” @jonmchu  

Some Questions I Ask:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The kind of leader Jon wants to be (1:00)
  • The importance of synergy in creativity (1:30)
  • The most important thing Jon has learned about communicating his vision (1:45)
  • How to talk to people who have concerns about your vision (2:30)
  • Plus much more…

Show Notes:

Connect with
Jon Chu

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis: This is 5-Minute Friday!!

Welcome everyone back to the podcast I’m very excited about this episode it’s with the buddy of mine name Jon Chu who is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter and cinematographer best known for directing the movies step up 2, step up 3d, Justin Beiber’s never say never, and G.I Joe retaliation. He’s an alumni of the University of California School of cinema television where he won many awards.

Jon: You look at other leaders and you look at people like our president or like.

Lewis: Yeah.

Jon: Other CEO’s of how they run their business. Some people do it through fear and some people do it through communication and love and through and through. There’s so many different ways and all are effective to be honest sort of fit your life you want to live as well.

Lewis: Personality yeah.

Jon: As a director I could scare the shit out of people and make big tantrums.

Lewis: Right.

Jon: And leave the room and quit and get what I want and that would actually really be darn effective and sometimes I do want to do that.

I don’t really want to live a long life, I think life is bigger than those things and you know that affects your energy anyway and I just choose not to do that. And I do think that like a computer like a multi-processer as a group as long as you’re choosing the right things there’s a lot of great ideas that can be mind and those things together have a synergy together one person could never create.

Lewis: Sure.

Jon: I love that idea and as I got through it I think the most important I’ve learned about communicating the vision or getting a unified vision is literally just one by one. It’s too daunting to think like ‘I need to make sure everybody we have the scene in the right place.’

Lewis: It’s one by one conversation.

Jon: I look them in the eye and say ‘let me understand your concerns here.’ Most people have concerns for the right reasons, they may not have the right answer and you may not have the right answer but as long as you have the same goal of trying to fix this concern of like ‘I’m just not feeling this character.’ They don’t know what they want in this movie which means it’s not about the scenes it’s about 2 scenes before that. So, by communicating with that actor you know I think it’s this point in the scene where you open your diary and we see exactly what you want.

So, by this point later we’ll be rooting for you and not knowing why you even want that thing and I think it’s a much more effective way and takes a lot more time and a lot more energy and a lot more back and forth but it’s a much more I think healthier way.

Lewis: Sure.

Jon: That process of finding it makes you connect with that actor, that producer, with the studio much more and it is a harder process.

Lewis: Much harder than just saying suck it up.

Jon: I would do movies for free. If you gave me cameras and actors I’ll do it all day long. What I get paid for is dealing with the politics and dealing with all of that job which is also part of storytelling and also part of understanding why you want to tell the story or why, everyone came to this story for different reason and by understanding the purpose of why everyone came here for you may not be able to fulfill that for every single person, but you can find your balance of how you unfulfilled those things and maybe they have a purpose that is actually bigger than yours that you jump on.

Lewis: Hey guys if you enjoyed this inspirational clip from a past episode of the show then you’ll love the free book I’m giving away right now It’s called the millionaire morning and it includes some of my best tips for starting off your day with a millionaire mindset. Get your free copy at the and just pay shipping, again check it out right now the


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