10 Questions with ... David Leach
May 6, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
In my life B.R. (Before Radio), I had a fairly typical 9-5 job with FedEx. Beginning as a part-time driver, I worked my way up the ladder to OM at one of the company's major hubs in Denver (when that happened, it was no longer 9-5 ... lol).
After several years of running my own entrepreneurial concern in the areas of mortgage lending, log home building, public speaking and publishing, I was bitten by the radio bug when I was invited to a tryout to co-host a local public radio show.
I had already developed a reputation for no-nonsense, satirical, irreverent and sometimes sarcastic opinion on the political and religious issues of the day. As the co-host of the morning show, along with my responsibilities with reporting the news, I found radio to be the perfect match for taking that to a new level.
My biggest accomplishment at MPR came when I was given total control of the radio station when the owner/manager of the station (Murray) was relocated to another station. While I still reported to Murray, the day-to-day operations of the station were completely my responsibility. I was the manager and PD, and was responsible for billing, traffic, sales, scheduling, co-hosting the morning show, and board operation.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I read motivational books by authors such as Zig Ziglar and Joel Olsteen. I try to read the Bible daily, spend time in prayer, and listen to Christian music.
I also do daily mental exercises, including positive self-talk and memorization.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Yes. In addition, I want to meld it with my writing on the topics of politics and religion. As I state on my resume, I want to use my creative wit to entertain listeners and grow market share.
3) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
All Access has been my best resource, but I have used many others, including: Craigslist, state broadcasting associations, various web-based sites (Best Radio Jobs, HisAir.com, Clear Channel, etc.), job fairs, local newspapers, and a career coach.
4) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I would like to host my own talk radio show. I believe I possess the wit and imagination to create an entertaining show and develop a brand that others will want to hear.
5) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
This is perhaps the most frustrating part of searching for a position. Rarely are e-mails acknowledged as being received, callbacks have been almost non-existent, and I've never received a rejection letter.
I send applications with a "read receipt," but I have only received a few confirmations. I often send a follow-up e-mail to make sure my application was received when I don't get a receipt, but those follow-ups typically go unanswered.
On the few occasions when I did receive a rejection letter, I followed up to find out where my application might have been unacceptable in order to improve in future applications. I was never able to accomplish that goal.
6) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
I probably listen even more. I am on the computer a lot these days, so I do most of my listening via live streaming or podcasts.
As a fan of radio to begin with, my increase in listening helps me keep up with the trends as well as get inspiration from industry leaders.
7) Are you able to slow down and enjoy free time doing things with your family and friends that you probably did not have time to do while you were working?
Over the past three months, I've had to say goodbye to my two beloved Alaskan Malamutes. During the past two years (which were the last two years of their lives) since my unemployment, I was able to give them extra walks, provide the hospice care they needed, and be by their side when they left this world.
If I had been working during those final days, I might not have been available to give them the extra care they needed. If that had happened, they might not have lived as long as they did.
My time was also freed up to allow my wife to develop her business, do some speaking, and attend a few seminars. This was easier because I was home to take care of our home and our dogs.
8) What do you miss most about radio? The least?
I really miss being a part of the lives of my listeners. I miss having the platform that makes it possible to make a difference in the world. I miss hearing from my listeners. I miss the bond a good talk show host can build with his listeners.
I would say that the thing I miss the least is getting up at 4a. I've always been of the mindset that if God had intended for man to see the sunrise, he would have put it later in the day. I can and will do it if I need to, but I haven't missed it much.
9) If you were offered a similar position to what you were doing for considerably less money, would you seriously consider taking the job just to stay in the biz?
Yes! I have always felt that my talk show was a sort of calling. Before I started as a paid member of MPR, I volunteered my time (20-30 hours a week) in order to learn the basics necessary to eventually have my own radio show.
There's an old motivational adage that says, "Do what you love and the money will follow." It's not that money isn't important (Zig Ziglar says it is reasonably close to oxygen), but when faced with following your heart or following a paycheck, you always win (even financially, eventually) when you choose the heart.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
The industry is full of people who "know" whether-or-not you have what it takes to succeed in this business. Most of them are wrong. If you are truly following your heart, you must never let anyone tell you that what you want is impossible.
In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
Never give up!
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
Based on my personal experience, inspiration and motivation are closely linked. While not meant to be all-inclusive, some of the books I would recommend are:
- The Power of Positive Thinking - Norman Vincent Peale
- 7 Habits of Highly Successful People - Stephen R. Covey
- Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can't Wait to Live - Zig Ziglar
- Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do - Robert H. Schuller
- As a Man Thinketh - James Allen