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Give the Praise (with Jason Mayden)
About the Episode
This week on Professional Troublemaker, I’m talking to the innovative, shoe-designing Chicagoan of legendary status, Jason Mayden.
As a shoe fanatic myself, I enjoyed speaking with one of the pioneers of the Air Jordan brand. He did it all at 21 years old! Unlike many of the Professional Troublemakers I’ve interviewed on the podcast, Jason was very determined to follow his dream to work at Nike from a young age and used intention and goal-setting to land him an internship his sophomore year, which led to a full-time career designing shoes.
Jason describes his design strategy as “looking for the narrative”. Instead of looking at other products for inspiration, he sees products as artifacts that tell a story. And when it comes to presenting these ideas, he has had to kill impostor syndrome and advocate for himself.
Impostor syndrome is the fear of not belonging or not being good enough to be in the room. Jason talks about how he realized that many of the people in the room were mediocre! It wasn’t that they were good at their jobs, they were just good at not being fired.
After leaving Nike and heading to Silicon Valley, he started Super Heroic, a company that wanted to convince every young kid who puts on a pair of its shoes that they’re a superhero capable of solving problems and saving the world. Similarly to how I want people to feel when they read my book! I want them to feel charged to get out there and make Good Trouble.
If you’re a sneakerhead, a dreamer, or a Professional Troublemaker, you’ll love this episode of Professional Troublemaker with Jason Mayden! Enjoy!
Be sure to follow Jason on social media. He’s @jasonmayden on Instagram and on Twitter, and be sure to tag her when you share this episode and let her know you loved it.
I don’t lead with an iron fist. I try to
lead with a velvet glove.
As the leader, I take the blame, but
I give the praise.
Professional troublemakers have to do the inconvenient thing at the inconvenient time
because that’s how history is made.
About the Guest